About Sheila Selman

Journalist and author Sheila Selman calls northern Indiana, home. She writes and edits for The Goshen News, plus serves as the digital content editor.

Fix our gaze

“So don’t look at the troubles we can see now: rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Just like in archery, if we are distracted by the action going on around us, we’re going to miss hitting our target. Pictured above is my daughter, who is trying to focus through the rain — a problem beyond her control. She knows concentration and keeping her eyes fixed on the middle of the target is key to hitting a bullseye.

An archer follows her training: Tune out the distractions. Be still. Focus. Breathe. Release. Impact.

And … repeat.

Our spiritual life is much the same. What’s your ultimate focus? Is it God and eternity? If not, what is your priority?

No other name

There is no other name

This impressive ceiling is from The Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois. It’s magnificent. Look at the details and see how together they form a beautiful human creation. It’s creative and expressive. God, after all, designed us to be creative, like him. Although, none of us can create the beauty of this life — us, our world, the universe, we can add to the splendor.

The more we explore and discover this world and the universe, the more we realize how creative and wonderful God is. The details fascinate us, and our thirst for discovery grows. And that’s OK. God is not afraid of the question “Why?” These are all gifts God has given us.

So explore your own creativity. Pursue knowledge. Talk to God and use the gifts he gave you. Just don’t be surprised that in your creative quest you find God in the details.

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

Fruits of the spirit.jpgIn Galatians 5: 22-23, the fruit of the Spirit is listed. If we are following Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will lead us to “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

What is against the law is found in the paragraph before: “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The Scripture goes on to say that “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

May we all be led by and be in step with the Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Words matter

mountains

I took this photo on a trip to Seattle, Washington. The mountains and clouds leave me in awe of creation. God is great and reigns over all of creation. Everything.

He created it for us because he loves us.

He also forgives us when we ask. Why? Because he wants a relationship with us. God is also just. So when we draw our last breath, all that matters in that moment is that relationship with God. Do you acknowledge Christ? Jesus’ words are clear. If you have not acknowledged Christ, he will not acknowledge you.

Just before the pictured verse above, in Luke 12:4-5, Jesus is talking to his disciples about the Pharisees and says, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

Can’t you hear Jesus’ punctuated words? “Yes, I tell you, fear him.” It brings shivers. However, he follows that with an unwritten “But …” that leads into the pictured verse. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Sparrows were cheap sacrifices — of very little worth. However, God doesn’t forget even one. So how much more is his love for us that he even knows how many hairs are on our heads? And he follows it with the beginning of a promise of his love, “Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.

“I tell you, whoever acknowledge me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.”

Jesus is going to stand up and claim you as one of his own. It’s a promise. You are sealed as his.

“But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.”

Your words and choices matter in this life. If you proclaim Jesus, he will proclaim you. If you don’t, you should fear the one who will throw you into hell.

And even if you have denied Jesus and spoken against him in your life but then acknowledge him, you will be forgiven. “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven …”

And then there is the “but …,” the hitch. “… but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

That’s heavy. That’s real. I like this explanation from Focus on the Family about what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is: “The sin of ‘blaspheming the Holy Spirit,’ then, is essentially the sin of rejecting Christ.

“What’s more, the ‘unpardonable’ nature of this sin has less to do with punishment than it does with the hardening effect of the sin itself. ”

Here is the link if you want to read more: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/blasphemy-of-the-holy-spirit-and-the-unforgivable-sin

In this life, words matter. Choose wisely.

 

Speaking boldly for the Lord

He died for you hearts with iron crosses

Jesus loves you. Jesus died for you. Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death for you. And Jesus is coming back again — for you.

God loves you. God sent his only son to die for you. He resurrected Jesus and sent the Holy Spirit to live in believers. He will judge us in the end. Only those who believe Jesus is the one and only son of God who died for the sins of the world and was resurrected will be saved from hell.

How often are we that blunt?

But isn’t that what we’re charged with as Christians? Ultimately, in the end,  isn’t THE message of salvation, of God’s love for us, what we are supposed share with the world?

I am guilty of not doing that. I’ve been a believer since I was a child. If someone asks me about Jesus, I’m happy to talk about the Lord, his mercies and salvation. But do I preach the word? Do I get out of my comfort zone and approach people with the Good News? No, I do not.

I try to live my faith openly. People who know me know I love Jesus. But for those of you who don’t see the Scriptures booklet on my desk or who see me at church, what have I done for you? Nothing.

Let’s change that.

In Matthew 19:26, Jesus says, “… with God all things are possible.”

I believe that. So let’s see where God leads.

Prayer: Thank you God for your Son, who died for the sins of the world for all generations. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit. And please bless those who are reading. In your name we pray. Amen.

Celebrating 25 years in journalism

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Me and my first editor Gary Kauffman in the office of The Advance-Leader in Ligonier, Indiana, in 1987.

Twenty-five years ago, Jan. 4, 1993, I started working at The Goshen News.

A cub reporter, fresh out of Goshen College, I had a lot to learn. Fortunately, between editors, co-workers, sources and readers I never lacked guidance — nor correction.

I was not one of those people who had to go through a few careers or majors before finding “the one.” I’ve wanted to be a news reporter since middle school.

At West Noble Middle School, we had a student newspaper and yearbook. The newspaper was printed via — wait for it — a mimeograph. Yeah, I’m that old. Better than stamping by hand I suppose.

Anyway, it was there that I fell in love with the publishing industry, specifically journalism. Any of my West Noble friends can attest to that — and my penchant for writing teen romance novels.

In high school, our only publication was the yearbook, so I worked there usually with classmate Traci Gee (now Runge). Knowing how much I enjoyed reporting, my high school set up a senior internship at the local newspaper, The Advance-Leader. There was a change in editors between when the agreement was made and when I started. So when I popped in on my first day (the last period of the school day), poor Gary Kauffman got a shock. He’d inherited me and no one had told him.

Gary rolled with it, though, and became a teacher, mentor and lifelong friend.

Because The Advance-Leader was owned by Kendallville Publishing Co., once a week I would head over to The Kendallville News-Sun to help put the weekly together. There I got to know Dave Walter and Wayne Steffen. Longtime readers of The Goshen News might recognize both names.

I would go sit on Dave’s desk and chat while he was supposed to be working. Dave, only recently out of college, would tease me by singing “Oh, Sheila.” Over the course of my senior year, we got to be friends.

Wayne, formerly of Kendallville, worked at The Goshen News. I was a Wayne fan. I enjoyed his writing and wanted to learn everything I could from him. Little did I know he was also a heck of a guy. Gary, Dave and Wayne took me under their wings, taught me what they could; helped me through college (and life) and we remain friends today. I could not have had better professional teachers. Thanks guys!

At Goshen College, my journalism classes were with Stuart Showalter. Again, another great teacher just landed in my lap. Both Wayne and Dave were at The Goshen News, so I had an in there. I did some freelance work during college and when it was time to graduate I got an internship at The News.

Fortunately for me, when my internship was up, The News needed a couple of reporters. They hired me and Marshall V. King. You might know his name, too.

I’ve been around ever since, covering pretty much everything.

I hope you’ve enjoyed having me around as much as I’ve enjoyed being here.

Sheila Selman can be reached at Sheila.selman@goshennews.com at 574-533-2151, ext. 311. Follow her on Twitter at @sselman_TGN.