Regular church attendance can make you fat

Curtis Shelburne Have you heard the latest “health” news? It seems that going to church—I mean really going, so regularly that folks notice when you’re absent—not just going at Christmas and Easter and whenever completely convenient and the barometric pressure is right and none of the kids are kicking balls and no relatives are visiting […]

Sins of spirit always deadliest

Curtis Shelburne A few years ago, I did something I’d never done before. Along with two writing partners, I tried my hand at penning some short pieces for what we hoped might become a series of gift books. We had in mind some little volumes entitled something like, “Dear Mom,” “Dear Dad,” “Dear Teacher,” etc. […]

What we need is a 24-hour courage cycle

I’m increasingly convinced that the modern 24-hour news cycle blesses almost no one. With nothing really new to report, even in the midst of the kind of crises the talking heads love to talk about, and talk about, and talk about, the never-pausing news organizations become a kind of TV Twitter assailing those of us […]

Metamorphoses seen throughout bible

Curtis K. Shelburne Metamorphosis. It’s a cool-sounding word. I like the way it rolls off the tongue. It’s one of those words that we’ve just trucked in completely “as is” from one language—in this case, Greek—right over into English. You see, “metamorphosis” comes from the Greek word—wait for it!—“metamorphosis.” “Meta” has to do with “change,” […]

Morning ‘blessings’ can easily turn sour

Curtis K. Shelburne One of my favorite bits of wisdom is Proverbs 27:14: “If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.” It comes right before another great one: “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm” (27:15). I take verse […]

How dare you?! Who do you think you are?

How dare you?!” That was the indignant question the pompous religious authorities put to Jesus after he wove his now-famous whip of cords and drove the animal-sellers and money-changers out of the Temple. “Show us a miraculous sign,” they demanded, “to prove that you have the authority to do what you’ve done here today!” When […]

Loving can be costly, but it’s worth the price

Loving can be hard. Just look in John 11. We’re told, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” (11:5). A lot of loving is going on in this chapter! Love is a wonderful thing, but if we think loving is easy, well, that’s rarely true, and it’s certainly not the case here. If […]

Way back to Father through Jesus

Curtis Shelburne We are all on a journey. What is particularly ironic about the journey is that we spend most of our lives trying to get back where we started. We spend most of our lives trying to fulfill our deepest longing, the desire to be home, truly home. If you think about the journey […]

Genuine joy comes from God

Curtis Shelburne It’s snowing outside. That suits me fine. I love snow. (It’s also blowing a gale, and that’s not so lovely, but …) I might be tempted to claim that I brought the snow home with me from an “instead of Christmas gifts” ski trip our family took to the mountains last weekend, but […]

The order of cars on this train matters

Curtis K. Shelburne Samuel Taylor Coleridge uttered profound truth when he warned, “He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.” It’s a matter of priority. It’s like the toy train you might set up around […]