A fool-proof formula for everything?

American magic. It’s a funny term, particularly when spoken by missionaries who deal with witch doctor types and superstitions regularly. You just don’t expect them to look back across the Pond, smile, shake their heads indulgently, and say, “Yep, that’s American magic.” You see, magic, at its heart, has to do with manipulation. You get […]

A silly grandfather and the love of God

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist Brenley Shay Shelburne is now almost a week old. Yes, this proud father of four sons is now the beaming grandfather of TWO beautiful little girls. Amazing! It’s too early to tell, but I’m pretty sure little Brenley has come on the scene GPS-equipped just like her little now […]

A funeral, and the depth of family love

By Curtis Shelburne: CNJ Columnist I went to a funeral yesterday for the wife of a fine friend. She was a dear friend, too, of course. Her family and my family had been friends, her father and my father close colleagues since before I was born. I am richly blessed to have been one of […]

The happiest are people who …

By Curtis Shelburne: CNJ Columnist Are you happy? If that question catches you off guard and you’ve really not thought of it in awhile, chances are that you really are. Happy, that is. One sure way to be unhappy is to spend a lot of time asking yourself often and with the deepest feeling you […]

One couples’ decision and what it says

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist “My daughter and her husband have told me that they’ve dedicated themselves to being more serious about their faith.” The good friend sharing this news with me was smiling, deeply thankful that his kids, just starting a family, were opting for a commitment to Christ more meaningful than the […]

God never sleeps, but we desperately need to

By Curtis K. Shelburne When I learned that CBS’ 60 Minutes news program was doing a story on sleep, I was interested. Sleeping is one thing I’ve always been really good at. But if anyone has pointers to help my technique . . . So I made sure to watch what was a fascinating program, […]

God’s grace: It just isn’t fair!

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist A surpassingly strange story it is, and enough to make a math or accounting major bite nails. I’m talking about Jesus’ Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). Here’s the story in a nutshell: It’s grape-harvest in Palestine. A vineyard owner goes out early to hire men […]

Sin is real, but God’s grace is deeper, stronger

If a writer has ever lived who could better turn a phrase than the early 20th-century author G.K. Chesterton, I can’t imagine who it would be. Here are a couple or a few quotable examples: “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.” “Among […]

Out of the depths, hope!

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Religion columnist I love the Psalms. They are so filled with the reality of life that we can all find ourselves in them as the reality of our own lives crowds in. Consider, for example, Psalm 130, a psalm for real people, flesh and blood humans, who haven’t got life all […]