Articles By: Paul Penner

When friends turn into pitchmen

What do you get when you take an old high school friend, throw in a chance meeting at Tabor College?s homecoming weekend and an invitation to stay for a weekend, plus $10, a tiny water filter and a chance of a lifetime?

Answer: Absolutely nothing.

It was one of those times when you anticipate a reunion of former high school chums, where one can reminisce about old times and enjoy the day. One doesn?t always correctly anticipate the outcome, however.

The chance meeting and visit during the football game went quite well. From there, it was nothing I neither expected nor wanted.

Between the beginning of the game and the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, our conversation followed the normal course of events, along with updates on each other?s family and career.

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Why good ones go is a tough issue

Family and friends recently bid farewell to Jonah Kliewer, professor emeritus of Tabor College. His passing, though anticipated by those closest to him, came too quickly for his family, numerous friends and acquaintances.

The memorial service, wonderfully prepared by family members, was a loving reflection of a life lived in service to God and others.

Sometime after the service ended, someone made an interesting comment. ?Why must all the good ones go??

The question remains appropriately unanswered, and yet, whenever I think about it, my response varies. At first, I quickly agree, ?Yes. Why??

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Murphy’s Law on the farm, too

Technology exists for man?s benefit. Then again, I?m convinced there are days when man exists for technology?s entertainment, especially when Murphy?s Law comes into play.

For example, as the television broadcast industry gears up for the transition from analog television signals to digital, this Murphy fellow is busily writing new laws with the gleeful ferocity of a gremlin on a mission.

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Picks for prez not bright for farmers

?The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don?t have it.?

? George Bernard Shaw

When it comes to selecting the next president of the United States, trying to find common sense approaches to good government by any of the three contenders is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. It?s even worse when one looks at agricultural policy.

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There are cats?and then ‘other’ cats

Our cat population on the farm currently stands at two, down sharply from a baker's dozen since two years ago. The short haired female?s name is Baby, a distant descendant of a female we received from some neighbors back in the ?80s.

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Character comes down to choices

Character building, for better or worse, is all about making choices. These choices ultimately lead us down a path in life that reveals who we really are.

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Common sense a battle on farm bill

When common sense prevails in the halls of government, there is cause for celebration in the streets. And why not make a big deal out of it and express our gratitude to those who helped make common sense prevail.

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Predictions are at best possibility

Crystal-ball gazing may not be an Olympic sport by any stretch of the imagination, but in light of recent news of alleged illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs by scores of athletes, predicting the future might stand a better chance of qualifying as a true sport. Even better than baseball.

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Christmas is for us, Charlie Brown

One of my all-time favorite holiday videos is ?A Charlie Brown Christmas.? Within the larger plot, the story of the first Christmas comes alive with purity and simplicity as told by a little child.

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Know where your farm bill is now?

Farmers, November 2007 is nearly gone and current farm bill legislation is about to expire. Do you know where your new farm bill is? More importantly, do you know why debate over the farm bill is stalled in the Senate?

From a historical perspective, the farm bill usually passes the House and Senate, not to mention out of the conference committee and through the final voting process, arriving at the president?s desk for his signature before the Christmas recess.

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