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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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The Light of the World

ShepherdCalls_WPAs of Jan. 1, 2014, light bulbs, as most of us know them, can no longer be made in the United States, nor can they be imported into the United States. The new light bulb standards are designed to make light bulbs more efficient and reduce the amount of energy our country uses. The old bulbs are real power burners; yet, most of us leave the lights on even when

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Snoopers Beware

ShepherdCalls_WPOne summer the raccoons were destroying the plants on our deck. We couldn’t have any flowers in the yard because the deer ate them, so I moved our flowers to the deck. Now the pesky raccoons were getting on the deck and digging up the flowers. I covered the dirt around the plants with wire, but they still dug them up. I covered the wire around the plants with rocks.

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Facing Another Year

ShepherdCalls_WP“If you want to see God smile, tell Him your plans.” Despite knowing that truism, I outlined our plans for Christmas in The Shepherd Calls last week. We had scarcely hit the “send” key on the computer when things began to change. A week later, those plans are still changing.

I mention this because soon we will be making New Year’s resolutions. Obviously, we humans are not captains of our

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Celebrating Jesus’ Birthday

ShepherdCalls_WPA short time from now, the world will celebrate Jesus’ birthday again. This is not the first celebration of His birth. No, His birthday has come and gone more than 2,000 times. Some people make this celebration short, simple, and sincere. In the United States, we make the celebration long and bright. We begin our revelry weeks before Christmas — we sing, we shop, we decorate our houses inside and

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Christmas Behind the Scenes

ShepherdCalls_WPSome shepherds were just doing their thing — watching the sheep — when an angel interrupted to tell them Christmas had arrived, “The Savior is born. Christ has arrived in the world.” The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to check it out.

The historian Luke tells us the shepherds were watching their flocks “by night,” presumably to protect them from wild animals, thieves, or simply keep them from wandering off, as

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