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 […]