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The Shepherd Calls

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A census is not a spiritual matter, but numbers play an important role in church life. Numbers are a bit like a temperature. It is a first line of judgment but not the only one.

More than 25 of my many years were spent in school. In those years I read, accumulated, and appreciated many books. I came to regard those books as friends. We became so familiar I could recognize them on the shelf while sitting at my desk several feet away.

When disappointment comes, it is often God’s prelude to better things. Remember, God is in the business of changing bad into good.

The Hebrews were instructed to observe a Sabbath year every seven years and a Jubilee year every 50. Even a simpleton such as I can see how complicated those instructions are.

Most of us take our hearing for granted. If you doubt that, let me ask when was the last time you thanked God for your hearing? Did you ever do so?

Sin winds its way into our lives so insidiously we excuse ourselves as though we are morally blinded. The Bible tells us when mankind calls sin good, we have lost our way.

It happened that Caesar Augustus ordered a census. Because of the census, it happened that Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, which happened to be the village of their ancestry.

“You did what?” my wife asked. “I sold our house.” It was then that it hit me: For the first time in 37 years, we did not have a house to call our own.

(WW) -- The stores are full of Halloween merchandise. How should Christians respond? Some churches condemn Halloween celebrations and forbid any emphasis of them in their church. Others respond more positively.

A college experience serves as a reminder that you don’t have to be a preacher or a missionary to serve the Lord. Instead, every child of God should serve God with what he or she does.