"Why Didn't I See That Wreck Coming?"

Posted Sep 17th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Why Didn’t I See That Wreck Coming?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Some wrecks you simply cannot see coming; others, well, it’s almost criminal negligence not to see them heading your way. The latter can and should be avoided.
If you are busy minding your own business as a good citizen when you are suddenly dispatched (tragically, for sure) by falling space junk, or perhaps by a less flashy but nonetheless spectacular, garden variety meteorite, I don’t see how anyone could rationally criticize you...

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"A Good Door-knocker, I Am Not!"

Posted Sep 10th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


 
“A Good Door-knocker, I Am Not!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I might as well just admit it: I am not a good door-knocker.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Probably not me, or you’d not have heard the clatter.
I don’t like to make noise. I like peace and quiet and assume that others do, too, so I tend to knock too quietly. Nor do I enjoy having to stand outside a door as I realize that I knocked too tentatively and that it’s probably my...

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"My Grandchildren Have Each Come Equipped with GPS"

Posted Sep 3rd, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“My Grandchildren Have Each Come Equipped with GPS”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
When my first grandchild, a beautiful little girl, was born, I was surprised to learn that grandchildren are born with an integrated GPS. All of mine have come thus equipped.
The Grandpa Positioning System can be initiated with a simple smile aimed at the old guy, a pudgy little finger pointing PawPaw in a specific direction, or a cute giggle triggering Granddaddy Gymnastics (which—let grandpas beware—may lead to lumbar consequences).
At one...

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"I Will Soon Be Taking Orders for MAMA Caps"

Posted Aug 27th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“I Will Soon Be Taking Orders for MAMA Caps”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I’ve been thinking about ordering some hats. Caps, really. Baseball-style caps. Something like those famous red ones that are emblazoned “MAGA.”
But those won’t work for me. Oh, we can discuss the message, but I don’t plan to. Not here. I’m just talking about the style.
The fact is, I’m not a big hat person. I sometimes wish I was. Nothing looks better than a nice cowboy hat on a guy...

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"May I Say Just a Few Words in Favor of Mondays?"

Posted Aug 20th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“May I Say Just a Few Words in Favor of Mondays?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Well, here we are again. Monday morning. At least, in my corner of the universe. I mean, of course, as I’m writing this. I don’t know when you’re reading it. Whenever it is, I do very much appreciate your discerning and impeccable literary tastes. (And, I beg you, please give me at least one more chance after you read this particular column. I’m thinking it will be...

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Lazarus Was Dead, But Hope Had the Last Word

Posted Aug 13th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Lazarus Was Dead, But Hope Had the Last Word
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Lazarus was dead. Of that sad fact everyone was now absolutely sure.
He had been barely breathing when Mary and Martha, his sisters, had sent the urgent message to Jesus to beg the Lord to return to help the desperate friends.
They needed Jesus badly, and quickly. Yesterday, if possible, and it wasn’t possible. Even for the Lord. But the odd truth is that after he’d received the message from these...

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"I Think I Made a Mistake"

Posted Aug 6th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“I Think I Made a Mistake”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“I think I made a mistake.”
Those, I’m told, were the words on a note a dying 20-something-year-old wrote to his nurse before he expired. He was referring to his, as it turns out, suicidal decision to attend a “COVID party.”
I’m tempted to write, “Duh.” But it’s bad form to “duh” a guy who admits his own unforced error and pays such a high price for his own idiocy. And it’s not like...

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'Sure Am Glad No Microphone Is Open in My Head!"

Posted Jul 31st, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Sure Am Glad No Microphone Is Open in My Head!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Wow, it’s a good thing nobody can hear what I’m thinking right now. An “open mike” transmitting from my brain might show how incredibly jumbled it is today! I’m sure the funeral directors’ and, of course, the families’ minds are every bit as jumbled. It’s been a flood. But it’s never easy. And multiple services this week.
I’m thinkin’ . . .
The trick with anybody’s job, I guess, is...

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Embracing Tunnel Vision Means Losing Vision

Posted Jul 23rd, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Embracing Tunnel Vision Means Losing Vision
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Idealists, and, specifically, idealists who are also zealots, scare me. Laser-like focus not only cuts, it blinds. Even if a person is “correct” on an issue, tunnel vision is by definition partial loss of vision.
Idealistic zealots think that the only way to get what they really want—and what they really want is the only result they’ll accept—is by getting all of what they really want. And a significant percentage of them believe...

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Dealing with Drips, Crickets, and a Pandemic

Posted Jul 16th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Dealing with Drips, Crickets, and a Pandemic
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“The drips and the crickets.”
My brother Jim has long said that those are the sorts of things that finally drive you “over the edge” when you’re already under stress.
Along the same line, we might recall an agricultural metaphor: “Well, that was just the straw that broke it!” The old wagon or cart or trailer or pickup was handling the load of straw pretty well, maybe just showing a little stress as...

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"I Guess the Turtle Was Right"

Posted Jul 13th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“I Guess the Turtle Was Right”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 
Well, I guess the turtle was right, and rain was on the way. If you can’t trust a turtle, the epitome of slow, faithful plodding, who can you trust? Not flighty or flitting, manic or depressive, just one step at a time dependability—that’s the ticket, turtle!
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
A couple of days ago, I looked through a window at the back of our house and spied, trudging across the property...

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"I Guess the Turtle Was Right"

Posted Jul 9th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“I Guess the Turtle Was Right”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Well, I guess the turtle was right, and rain was on the way. If you can’t trust a turtle, the epitome of slow, faithful plodding, who can you trust? Not flighty or flitting, manic or depressive, just one step at a time dependability—that’s the ticket, turtle!
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
A couple of days ago, I looked through a window at the back of our house and spied, trudging across the property...

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"Time for Bed, Child! Go to Sleep!

Posted Jul 2nd, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Time for Bed, Child! Go to Sleep!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
The segment actually aired several years ago, but I still remember a fascinating piece 60 Minutes produced on sleep. (About sleep. Not while sleeping.)
Since sleeping is one thing I’ve always been particularly good at, I was immediately interested. Even professionals can hone their technique, so I was happy to tune in. May I share a bit of what I learned?
In 1980, a study was done using rats who were kept awake...

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"Please Join Me for a Walk Through a Mine Field"

Posted Jun 25th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


 
“Please Join Me for a Walk Through a Mine Field”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
By writing today’s column, I am breaking a promise, one that I made to myself. I didn’t make myself take an oath aloud or sign anything. I suppose it was less a promise than a mental warning not to stroll into any mine fields.
The topic is difficult and highly-charged, a tough one for any of us to deal with wisely and rationally and one where many folks seem...

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Even in a Bad Year, a Good Father Is a Priceless Gift

Posted Jun 18th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Even in a Bad Year, a Good Father Is a Priceless Gift
By Curtis K. Shelburne
In the midst of this roller coaster year and its blur of events and emotions, we’re speeding toward Father’s Day. As I find myself thinking of my father, my thoughts quickly turn in immense gratitude to my Father for giving me such an incredible gift, my earthly father.
If anyone asked me for the name of the best man I have ever known, I’d not have...

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