God writes his love in one word

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist 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 found to discover new words and interesting things about words of all sorts is […]

Harder fall comes for those with bigger egos

By Curtis Shelburne: Religion columnist In last week’s column, I wrote to extol the virtues of physical labor, reasoning that our minds work a lot better if our bodies do some hard work also from time to time. I closed with the Apostle Paul’s words, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to […]

Physical work can be great medicine

By Curtis Shelburne: Religion columnist Physical work can be really good medicine. I’m convinced that “health surveys” need to add a few questions to the traditional ones about cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. I’d suggest a few like these: • Do you know where the pull start rope on your lawn mower is? Have […]

Contentment can be found in God

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist No one ever gets it exactly right, but the right kind of contentment is a precious thing. The quickest way to discombobulate contentment is to analyze it to death, but maybe it can bear a little discussion. Contentment and happiness are almost twin sisters—conjoined twins, I’d say, sharing vital […]

God will not stay locked up in anyone’s box

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist In the preface to The Pillars of the Earth, thriller-writer Ken Follett tells how he came to write a historically-based novel about the building of a grand Gothic cathedral. In the midst of writing best-sellers, he’d toyed with the project for a long time, starting it, stopping it, almost […]

Contrast between real quality, real junk

By Curtis K. Shelburne G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” Though Chesterton died before the advent of television, a fact that was merciful both for him and for those who produce what we’ve come to expect […]

You can’t go home if you don’t think you’ve left

By Curtis K. Shelburne Someone has called Jesus’ Parable of the Prodigal Son “the Gospel within the Gospels” as Jesus tells us the story of us all, and the story of God’s love. You know the story. A father has two sons. The younger son — immature, rebellious, and headstrong — impetuously demands his inheritance, […]

“Warning: let the clicker beware!”

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist “CNN Alert: My Custom Alerts.” That’s what the subject line of the e-mail said. I didn’t remember subscribing to anything by that name. But who can you trust if not CNN? (Actually, my answer would be FOX News, but . . .) Anyway, I clicked on the e-mail, was […]

The gracious become more gracious

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist How’s this for the setting for a series of mystery novels? It’s twelfth-century England. Following a long career as a soldier in the Crusades and later as a ship’s captain, a short but sturdy Welshman has “taken the cowl.” Kind and wise, he has taken vows as a monk […]

When can we really accept God’s grace?

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist I keep wondering: What does it take for human beings to truly know God’s grace as something much more than theoretical? I know. Most Christians talk a lot about God’s grace. We dissect it in Bible studies. We say we believe in it. We claim to know it as […]