Some Father’s Day reflections on fathers

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist Well, here comes Father’s Day. Honestly, I don’t much need a calendar, a card company, and a proclamation or a few for me to wax reflective about fathers and fatherhood. I’m a fellow who thinks that perhaps the most poignant verse in all of Scripture is the heart-rending cry […]

Humans can be as witless as dogs

May I state the obvious? People react to other people, situations, and issues on the basis of their perceptions of those people, situations, and issues, and not necessarily on the basis of reality. I mean no particular disrespect to either breed, human or canine, but in that regard I think we humans generally operate a […]

Man no stranger to god-making

Curtis Shelburne “Make me a god!” It seems like such a strange request—until we realize how often we probably make this same request ourselves. Israel’s children were waiting in the desert at the foot of Mount Sinai. Moses had been summoned up the mountain by God Himself. Jehovah was about to give to Moses to […]

Na

Curtis Shelburne You don’t have to be an English major to be amazed by the power of words, but the English major under my hat is still amazed every time I open a really great book and find myself inside the head of a really great person. It’s almost a miracle to be able to […]

‘The Root of All Kinds of Evil’ still thrives

Curtis K. Shelburne I’m not sure it would be particularly appropriate for me to begin, “There should be a special place in hell for . . .” So I won’t. But I’m tempted to. (And there really should.) A fine older lady and dear friend (who I’d nominate for a special place in heaven when […]

TV show hits right chords

Curtis Shelburne I learned long ago to be careful about recommending movies or television shows to anyone. Either they’ll hate the show and wonder about you, or they’ll love the show and tell other people you recommended it. Then, chances are, a good many of those people will wonder about both of you. But I’ll […]

Resolution making can be dangerous business

Curtis Shelburne Please forgive me for beginning here with a probably painful query, but, if I may ask, how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Maybe a better question at this point in the calendar is not how they’re coming but if you even remember the resolutions that you made! I very effectively solved […]

Use time to fill up on Father’s grace

Curtis Shelburne I’m beginning to wonder if someone—maybe Someone—is trying to tell me something. Since my oldest granddaughter just turned 5 and I just turned 55, I suppose the good news is that I’m ripe for the message (poor metaphor). That’s also the bad news. We might as well admit it: When it comes to […]

Author asks right questions

Curtis Shelburne Of the three major events of Jesus’ life—Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter—only the Crucifixion took place completely out in the open for all the world to see. And when the four writers of the Gospels set forth their accounts of Jesus’ life, they devote one-third of their time to that most excruciating event […]

Count on God’s promise of joy

Curtis Shelburne I began writing this particular column a week ago. The wind had been howling all day long. Someone has said that nothing in nature is more beautiful than gently falling snow and the pristine glittering blanket it creates. I agree. But if that’s on one end of beauty’s scale, a wind-begotten brown dust-storm […]

Failures give grace meaning

Curtis Shelburne

Bethlehem will always trump Times Square

Curtis Shelburne We all know what time does, right? Tempus fugit! I learned that phrase long ago in one of the most practically valuable classes I’ve ever taken, the Latin class at Amarillo’s Sam Houston Junior High. Mister Craddock would be proud. Tempus (time) fugit (flies)! As I write, we’re slipping into the wee hours […]

God’s gift inimitable

Curtis Shelburne What we need most for God to do in our world and in our lives are the very things we cannot possibly do ourselves. They are also quite often the things that we, in our frequent fits of arrogance (it’s called human pride), are tempted to think we can. God’s people in first […]

God’s plan almost always surprises us

Curtis Shelburne Does God ever do anything just like we’d expect him to? A world to save, a Gift to give, a Baby to send . . . And the greatest Christmas Present ever given is all wrapped up in swaddling cloths and laid in a feed trough. And the mother of the King is […]

Christmas trees don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful

Curtis Shelburne My earliest Christmas memories are mostly wrapped around our family’s Christmas trees. I remember Mom making creamy hot chocolate and my sister stacking the spindle of the old record player with an inch-high pile of vintage vinyl Christmas music by Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and the Norman Luboff Choir. […]

Advent all about preparation

Curtis Shelburne Whether we’ll have a White Christmas this year or not is anybody’s guess, but, in my “neck of the woods,” a White Monday on the Second Week of Advent is now in the bag. I love it! Nothing in all of nature is as beautiful as snow. Add to that a church at […]

Turkey, tofurkey, and no pardon for the White House turkey

After much deliberation and serious soul-searching, I’ve come to a conclusion. If I’m ever elected President of these United States and Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m not pardoning the turkey. I’m sorry if that flies in the face of tradition, but if it’s ever up to me, that bird’s a goner. If you disagree, fine. Pray […]

God’s people are to ‘Overflow’ with Thanksgiving

Curtis Shelburne Sometimes we just make things too hard. I was listening to one of Garrison Keillor’s “News from Lake Wobegon” stories one day as he was talking about the deer hunting season that had just closed up in (fictitious) Lake Wobegon right before Thanksgiving. Keillor painted a word picture (which I’ve embellished a bit) […]

A Tale of Wind and Sausage, War and Beauty

Curtis Shelburne The wind showed up early last Sunday. The country around here doesn’t need even close to that much of a head-start to be flying by in dingy brown grit-clouds and switching counties by noon. The afternoon would be a brown mess, best ridden out inside with doors and windows sealed, a comforter pulled […]

Suffering, joy result of free will

Curtis Shelburne How can a good and powerful God allow suffering? That has always been a good and powerful question, and one asked most often and most poignantly in the midst of shock, pain, and perplexity. The question defies easy and glib answers. Pain is a caustic solvent that melts away easy answers and plastic […]