When God’s answer to his own son was no

Curtis Shelburne The answer was No. At least, it surely seems to walk like a No, talk like a No. I think it was a No. Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, was facing a terrible death and a struggle that would pit him against all the forces of Hell. Praying earnestly in an […]

Let’s talk about flat tires and faith

Curtis K. Shelburne Sometimes I think my funny bone is oddly shaped or maybe dislocated. Oh, it’s definitely there and works at least as well as it should, but it also works in inappropriate moments. And what strikes me as funny doesn’t always grab other folks the same way. For example . . . I […]

Easy to answer question of faith

Curtis Shelburne Long, long ago a very old man stood before the Roman proconsul in Smyrna who literally held over him the power of life or death. Old Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, had been taught by the Apostle John and had known many others who had walked physically with the Lord Jesus Christ and with […]

Satan’s Slogan: “It’s Not Personal; It’s Business!”

“It’s not personal; it’s business.” I first heard that cold phrase in the 1972 movie The Godfather. Mafia hoodlums would assure the fellow they’re about to “off” that he should feel better about being “whacked” since the aforementioned whacking is “not personal; it’s business.” I’m told that business tycoon Donald Trump uses the phrase on […]

God uses both Mars and Venus to make Earth work

If I ever actually had any doubt (and I didn’t) that, to borrow from the wise guy’s book title, men really are from Mars and women are from Venus, one evening’s dinner drama would have put that doubt to rest yet again. There was no fuss. My wife and I really don’t fuss much. Well, […]

God’s perfect love drives away all fear

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear . . .” (1 John 4:18). The little fellow standing on the corner of the street, just down at the end of the block from San Jacinto Elementary School and his second grade class, was trying to be “a big boy,” but the […]

Don’t be one of Job’s friends!

The Book of Job is the textbook on suffering. Open that Bible book and you’ll see an extraordinarily good man undergoing extraordinarily terrible affliction. He loses his family (except his wife, and keeping her might easily be counted among his afflictions), his wealth, and his health. He’s reduced to sitting on a pile of ashes, […]

Former choir director still imparts lessons

Curtis Shelburne I’m pretty sure I just participated in “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Several hundred of Mr. Frank Frisbie’s former students—“his kids,” as he has always called us—and many friends gathered at Amarillo’s Tascosa High School to surprise our former choir director on his 75th birthday and to say “thank you” to this dear man. We […]

Bigger not necessarily better

Of the multitude of really foolish ideas our society naively buys as unquestionably true, one of its most foolish, fiercely held, and utterly false beliefs is this: Bigger is always better. In 1927 British essayist and author G.K. Chesterton, in a book entitled “The Outline of Sanity,” wrote about what he called “The Bluff of […]

Man reflection of God’s light

Curtis Shelburne A “rustler’s moon.” That’s what cowboys used to call a quarter moon. It was bright enough that a rustler could see to carry out his cattle filching, but it was not so bright as to spotlight his thievery. But here’s a fact likely lost on all but your most astronomically-gifted cattle rustlers: be […]

No one ‘box’ can contain God

I once saw John Denver, hair wet and with a clothes bag tossed over his shoulder, heading through a hotel lobby toward the desk. Two weeks or so later, he crashed his plane and died. Christian author Max Lucado is still very much alive and writing fine books. In his book Fearless he tells about […]

Act like what you already are: God’s kids!

Curtis Shelburne “All through the New Testament,” William Barclay writes, “there rings a plea for Christian unity.” Yes! Jesus himself asked, in his John 17 prayer to the Father, “May they [his disciples] be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me . . .” Evidently Jesus believes that one […]

With God, worrying about age unnecessary

Have you heard about telomeres? A telomere is “a region of repetitive DNA sequences at the end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes” (Wikipedia). Hmm. Telomeres, it seems, are sort of like tails on the ends of our chromosomes. Like the plastic tips […]

Jesus can be found in books other than Bible

Curtis Shelburne Oh, my aching back! I knew it would hurt today. I spent too much time yesterday on a bar stool. Oh, you thought . . . No, I was sitting on a stool at the “bar” in our kitchen. I like to work there, but my back doesn’t like it when I do. […]

Understanding Bible more important than knowing facts

Curtis Shelburne “Wow! That person really knows the Bible!” I hear that comment made fairly often, and I always wonder what the speaker means. Usually they mean that someone is quite familiar with the words of the Bible, its many facts and wonderful stories, etc. On one level, that’s great, since most studies these days […]

Children are at center of life in heaven

Curtis Shelburne If I were to ask you to name some occasions in Scripture when Jesus was angry, where would you start? Probably the incident that would come to mind first for most of us is Christ overturning the tables of the greedy money-changers in the temple. If he wasn’t awfully angry on that occasion, […]

God insists that his children learn to be thankful

My parents believed in giving thanks. Yes, they believed in giving thanks primarily to God for the blessings he showers upon us. But Mom & Dad also believed in giving thanks to the people around us. My mother, normally a most loving woman, was an absolute tyrant regarding “thank you” notes. From the moment we […]

Times of drought remind us to be thankful for better days

With all of my heart, I hope that T-shirts emblazoned with that slogan are soon printed and available. At this point, though, one wonders if they ever will be. I hate to whine. Well, that’s probably not strictly true. Most whiners whine because they enjoy it, and while they’re doing it, they don’t have to […]

Issues or causes should not take God’s place in our lives

Curtis Shelburne Tell me, if you please, does the name Wayne B. Wheeler ring any bells for you? It didn’t for me, either, until I read Daniel Okrent’s fascinating book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Wayne Wheeler died in 1927, less than a paltry 100 years ago. At that time, the editors […]

Great weekend included wedding

Curtis Shelburne My eyes are now open. It seems to be morning. But what day is it? That’s the conversation I had with myself as something approaching consciousness was trying to break through my brain fog this morning. You see, we had a wedding a couple of days ago, complete with all the rehearsal and […]