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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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About Forgetting

SShepherdCalls_WPhe arrived late for church. She is never late. A neat, wispy lady – her red eyes told me she’d been crying. “Are you okay?” I asked, knowing full well she wasn’t.

“This Alzheimer’s business is awful,” she said staring at me. There was resigned panic in her voice. Not long ago, she was diagnosed with the disease. She still babysits her grandchildren, and she awoke in the night

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Less is More

ShepherdCalls_WPThe television program was about a hoarder. The lady had so much stuff her house could no longer contain it. She kept everything — even empty tissue rolls and plastic bread wrappers. She had grown up with very little; and in adulthood, she determined to keep everything she could get her hands on. When her living conditions became dangerous, her children had her declared incompetent, sent her to a nursing

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Be Fruitful

ShepherdCalls_WPSeveral days ago, the Kansas City Star ran a front-page story about carrier pigeons, aka passenger pigeons. The article seemed so unbelievable, I checked it out in several other sources. It seems this bird was once the most prolific bird in America and perhaps in the world. Historical documents of our earliest settlers tell of flocks so large they darkened the sky and took hours to pass over. A Virginia

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The Art of Following

ShepherdCalls_WPAfter church, some friends and I were going to lunch. Since I was in their city, I asked them to select a restaurant. They told me the name of the restaurant and said, “Follow me.” Somewhere, in the brief one-mile journey to a nice sit-down eatery, another auto got between us. When I followed that car into a drive-in restaurant, I realized I was following the wrong vehicle. Fortunately, my

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