DON’T USE THIS BLOG….A REPEAT!! I can still hear his voice! Clear as a bell. I’ll never forget it. It was in 1957 or ’58 when my Dad and I first went to, what we called back home in New Jersey, ‘the Stadium’. Must I spell it out that that is Yankee Stadium, the house that Babe Ruth built. The Babe was such a giant in the game of baseball that I thought maybe he really did build it! We drove to the Stadium in my father’s 1956 blue Lincoln Capri, and parked it in just the biggest parking lot I had ever seen. And all the people streaming toward the multiple gates all around the stadium. We passed all kinds of vendors selling Yankee hats, daily schedules, buttons and ribbons with players’ pictures on them, you name it. After we passed through the old-fashioned turnstiles getting back half our ticket from the old ticketvendor, we walked up and up those concrete ramps of inner Yankee Stadium to be greeted with tantalizing smells of hot dogs and sauerkraut, hot-roasted peanuts, and just lots of city sights and sounds. It was magical to say the least. And then as we walked through cavernous tunnels, it all opened up. There it was–the infield and the outfield with baseballs being hit all over the place. Lights were on everywhere with everything bright and green and loud and heavenly to this little boy holding the calloused hands of his dad. We were then told where our seats were. My father wanted a hot dog as badly as I did. Brought right to us by a hot dog vendor carrying a large box of steaming franks that took but a few gulps to consume. And there they were! My team! My Yankees! And my favorite players, ever–Mickey, Yogi, Whitey, Phil, Billy, Moose, Gil, Roger…But then there was that voice. I can still hear it. Like it was yesterday. Bob Sheppard announcing, ‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Yankee Stadium’. His resonance, clarity, respect and just plain majesty of simplicity, I could never forget. Decades later when I took my boys to the Stadium, and 10 years ago for Sue and myself, we heard that same voice, the voice of the Yankees for over 56 years. He was 97 when he retired as the team announcer. Derek Jeter had Bob Sheppard’s voice recorded to be played as he came to the plate in Yankee Stadium, so with Jeter’s retirement from the game, Bob Sheppard’s voice will no longer be heard at the Stadium. But there’s another voice that I’ll never forget. And His voice will never be silenced. Never, ever. That, of course, is the voice of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He tells us in John chapter 10 that He has other sheep to bring into His fold, that’s you and me who believe in Him. When we accept Jesus into our hearts we become part of His growing flock and family. He says, ‘…I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.’ Can you hear Him calling your name? Introducing you to the crowd and cloud of heavenly witnesses? Listening to Him and learning from Him in your Bible, His Word? Such a joy to hear the voice of the Shepherd. Jesus, the Good Shepherd…I can still hear His voice! I’ll never forget it. Never.