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Articles written by curtis shelburne

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Know a few things for sure at the beginning of this new year

As I write this week’s column, can I just admit from the outset that I’m not sure I should be writing this week’s column? At least, not on this topic. I could easily come off as grouchy and pess...

 

Memories in 'mangers of the mind' precious in their own right

There is holiness to memory, Philip Gulley writes in his “Christmas in Harmony,” and “a sense of God’s presence” in what Gulley calls the “mangers of the mind.” Perhaps the memories in...

 

Christmas not a season for holding back love

“By the way, I’m not doing Christmas cards. If you want them sent, you’ll have to do it.” According to Sam Gardner in Philip Gulley’s delightful “Harmony” series, it was the same...

 

Thankful for ancient shepherds and stargazers

Thank the Lord for shepherds and stargazers. While muckety-mucks in Rome were trying to figure out new and improved ways to shake even more shekels from the pockets of the subjugated populace and...

 

Praying to help us not waste this precious time

Zero to sixty. That’s how fast this year we revved up the Thanksgiving sleigh, slid “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house,” slammed down the turkey and dressing, and,...

 

This year's odd calendar comes with a fine lesson

For just a moment, ponder this year’s calendar. You’ve already noticed, I’m sure, that it is playing tricks on us this time around. Thanksgiving and the turkey, dragging their heels, showed up...

 

God has populated lives with wonderfully interesting people

In an old issue of Leadership Journal, Chris T. Zwingelberg made this observation: While everyone is familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and his amazingly keen powers of...

 

Mondays spent with coffee, adrenalin and a prayer to God

Here we go again. It’s Monday morning. Mondays come after Sundays, and, like most pastors, I tend to be toast on Monday mornings. Brain dead but breathing. It’s not the best day to write, but the...

 

Trust God's willingness to carry our sorrows

Grief. It’s a far bigger word than we usually think. Oh, we all know it applies to the loss wrought by death as we’ve stood at the graveside of a loved one, smelled the flowers, felt the...

 

Jesus' sacrifice paid in full

I cannot imagine why we put up with it. I’m thinking about the sick state of healthcare in America. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been to Third World countries and seen misery and need. I’m...

 

Cemeteries can help put our lives in perspective

I’m weird, and I know it. But I sort of enjoy spending some time in cemeteries. I’m talking, of course, about the times when I want to be there, not the times when I have to be. Big difference....

 

Plenty of words out there for word lovers

I love words. Perhaps I’ve not fallen into epeolatry yet, but it’s always fun and interesting to meet a new word. (Like epeolatry, which is the worship of words.) One of the best places I’ve fou...

 

Grace is hard - and incomprehensibly wonderful

Grace is hard. It is almost incomprehensibly wonderful. It seems almost too good to be true because it actually is almost too good to be true. It is amazing. But it is hard. Grace is hard because...

 

God knows exactly what kind of Light we need

Are you considering trying to buy a light bulb? Good luck to you. A few evenings ago, my wife and I were in Amarillo baby-sitting (playing with, laughing with, snuggling with, rollicking and...

 

God didn't paint over us but washed us clean

Let’s talk about paint. My wife and I have been involved in an upstairs bathroom renovation. She was mostly involved in, uh, “reminding” me regularly for several years (or maybe a decade) that...

 

Good to have someone pointing out God in our ordinary lives

All honorable work is God’s work, a calling, and anyone serious about doing a good job in his/her work derives priceless benefit from the example of respected mentors. Surely teachers and doctors,...

 

May God sanctify, bless a beautiful place in your life

We had two Sundays this week at our little church. Two Sundays two days in a row. Well, not really. But it seemed like it. The first Sunday was Saturday as we held the funeral of a fine man and good...

 

After all this time, people can still surprise me

People can be maddening, frustrating, bull-headed, mean, dumb, astonishing, resilient, weak, strong, gentle, loving, perplexing, bitter, graceful, resentful, hateful, merciful, and ... pick any...

 

God's real grace a truly amazing gift

In his fine book “What’s So Amazing About Grace,” author Philip Yancey writes that at a British conference on comparative religions, scholars from around the world were discussing the most...

 

Faith: Eternally thankful for having the best Shepherd

You’ve heard, no doubt, of the legendary search for the holy grail. In everything from tales of medieval knights, legends of King Arthur, the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and even...

 

I believe betting life on Christ a good wager

“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. ... I believe in the Holy Spirit ...” Yes, I do. With all of my heart,...

 

Be moderate even about moderation

“I’m in a twelve-step program for recovering ascetics,” I explained to my missionary nephew. I knew he’d get it. More than a little conversant in theology and church history, Ian had joined...

 

God's greatest miracle a single, perfect Word

Hey, friends, I’ve got a favor to ask. Like, if you, like, catch me using, like “like” in a sentence or, like, even in a phrase, like, I’ve thus far used “like” in this sentence five...

 

Jesus friend of sinners and common folks

Of all of the many astounding qualities of Jesus, one of the most amazing and winsome is that, as Philip Yancey has written, Jesus was “a sinless friend of sinners.” I keep being drawn back to thi...

 

Choose well between becoming colder or warmer with time

How’s this for the setting for a series of mystery novels? It’s 12th-century England. Following a long career as a soldier and later as a ship’s captain, a short but sturdy Welshman, who still...

 

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