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Spiritual Neglect

ShepherdCalls_WPThe conversation was not directed toward me; but I overheard it and cringed inwardly. The group was actually bragging about not going to church.

“I haven’t been to church in so long . . .”

“Me either, I haven’t even met our new pastor/priest.”

I listened carefully, hoping it was more a confession than a boast; but it did not seem so. The speakers seemed to be swaggering in a

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A Mother’s Day Suggestion

ShepherdCalls_WPSunday is Mother’s Day. Many will be asking, “What can I give my mother or do for her to show my love?” That is an excellent question. It is good to ponder it long before Mother’s Day, rather than make a last minute stab at it.

Let me make a suggestion: Why not ask your mother to tell you about her mother? Ask her to tell you what she remembers

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The Shepherd Calls: Enjoy the Rush

ShepherdCalls_WPWhat a week! Two of our grandchildren just spent 10 days with us while they were on spring break. When I was in elementary school, we didn’t get spring breaks. That was reserved for college. I believe these two were the most physically challenging of our grandchildren. They were eight and seven, only 13 months separates them. They compete about everything.

I asked Stephen if he wanted to run to

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Church, It’s a Good Place to Be

ShepherdCalls_WPLast Sunday was Easter. Some people attend church on Easter Sunday only. If you are one of those Easter-only church attendees, you might find the following true anecdotes interesting.

He was a big man. With strange hostility, he announced, “I haven’t been to church in over 20 years, not since I was a boy.”

“You don’t seem very happy about that,” I noted. There was a long pause. “So,” I

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Pings and Pangs

ShepherdCalls_WPWith keen interest, my wife and I listened as the Australian retired Chief Air Marshal Angus Houston reported about ships listening for pings from the flight data recorder of the missing Malaysian airliner MH370. He said two different ships were thought to have heard pings from the plane’s black box. The pings were from different areas of the ocean but seemingly of the right frequency. However, he cautioned that the

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Oops!

ShepherdCalls_WPIt was Sunday morning. I awoke early and got ready for church. When I went to put on my shoes, they were muddy from wearing them in the recent snows and mud. Reluctantly (I’m not fond of shining shoes), I got out my trusted shoeshine kit and cleaned them up.

Realizing time was passing fast; I hurriedly stopped in the kitchen to get another cup of coffee. Looking out the

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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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