God Has No Problem Identifying His Children

Posted Mar 4th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


God Has No Problem Identifying His Children
By Curtis K. Shelburne
During one of the most famous battles ever fought, the World War II “Battle of the Bulge,” the Germans made use of a battalion of men commanded by Major Otto Skorzeny, “the most daring commando in the German army.”
According to author Stephen Ambrose in his book Citizen Soldier, 500 or so volunteers from that battalion were dressed in American uniforms and dispatched across the lines to wreak havoc and confusion, perpetrate...

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"Lord, Even If Everyone Fails You, I Never Will!"

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


“Lord, Even If Everyone Fails You, I Never Will!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Sirens. Lots of them.
I might not have heard them, but one of my sons and I were engaged in a dart game or a few out in the garage. The recent blizzard had receded. We had the garage door open. And we started hearing sirens.
I didn’t know exactly what had happened, but it was pretty certainly something pretty bad. I still don’t know, but some other friends who were...

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"This Router Is Not Rated for Dental Work"

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


“This Router Is Not Rated for Dental Work”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I don’t wish to be indelicate (gotcha; those words guarantee an audience as surely as “Viewer Discretion Advised”), but it’s increasingly difficult to venture out of your house and not step into a pile of . . . lawyer droppings.
Neither can you drink a cup of coffee; buy a garden hose, wheelbarrow, or power tool; install a computer program; take a pill; or breathe—without encountering what might more politely be...

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A Fine Winter Night Is a Wonderful Time to Look Up

Posted Feb 14th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


A Fine Winter Night Is a Wonderful Time to Look Up
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I love winter.
Plenty there is to love about each of the four seasons. The best features of each one are incredibly amazing and delightful and might tempt you to cast your vote once and for all: This season is my favorite!
Truth be told, each also comes with its own failings. Be ye frozen or boiled or dried out or almost blown away as the wind howls and...

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Posted Feb 7th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Update Is Installing Now: Don’t Touch That Plug!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 
Software update.
I love those, don’t you? Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that the folks who created your computer’s operating system are so completely on top of things that they’ve issued yet another update?
You were hoping to quit for the day. You were in the process of punching your computer’s lights out. And then that screen screams at you: “Stop! Whatever you do, don’t turn this thing off...

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Dual Citizenship Requires Maturity--and God's Help

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


Dual Citizenship Requires Maturity—and God’s Help
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Note: This column was written on January 19, 2021.
Tomorrow is Inauguration Day. It’s a particularly good time to think about our citizenship, I think. And I think it’s a particularly good time for me to stay off of Facebook and other social media for at least a day or two. Even as I think social media companies’ increasing censorship of free speech is unwise, I think my increasing censorship of my own...

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What Kind of Change Is Positive?

Posted Jan 19th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


What Kind of Change Is Positive?
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Change. I love it.
Yes, and I also love each morning to throw open the blinds immediately to retina-scorching sunlight and then to jump into pep-rally-volume conversation.
If you believe any of the wretched falsehoods above, you surely don’t know me at all. If you think I love “change” . . .
Evidently, to be a “progressive,” not a label I love, desire, trust, or in any way covet, one must accept the notion that...

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January 6, 2021: "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy"

Posted Jan 11th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


January 6, 2021: “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I’m writing this column on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
That matters. I don’t know if henceforth all one will have to do is say “1/6” to bring forth images of a terrible assault on our nation; probably not, but I hope we never forget the assault and its lessons.
“December 7, 1941: a date which will live in infamy,” does that for many of us. For many more of us,...

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An Old Hymn Brings New Comfort

Posted Jan 4th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


An Old Hymn Brings New Comfort
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 
Years ago, when my oldest brother and his wife left for almost 20 years of mission work in Malawi, Africa, I was barely a pup. I was too small then to remember now much of the early time of their service there, but I well remember that then and always, whenever our family gathered, we sang. (I know. Tell that to most modern families and you might as well tell them you...

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God Comes to Us Not as We Wish We Were but as We Are

Posted Dec 31st 2020, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


God Comes To Us Not as We Wish We Were but as We Are
By Curtis K. Shelburne
At first, the quotation I’m about to share may sound a bit cynical, but when you have a little time to think about it, I think you’ll agree with me that it is not only realistic and true, it is filled with hope.
You see, when God came into this world “in the flesh,” he was laid in a manger, a feed trough, in a...

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"The True Light . . . Was Coming Into the World"

Posted Dec 24th 2020, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“The True Light Was . . . Coming Into the World”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“The true light that gives light to everyone,” writes the Apostle John, “was coming into the world” (John 1:9).
And so each year at this time, we drape our trees, our homes, our churches, our cities and towns and villages, with innumerable lights. Every one of them, even if it’s nothing more than a glowing red light on Rudolph’s nose, is silent testimony to the bright truth that...

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"Wherever We Are at Christmas, We Can Count on Going Home"

Posted Dec 10th 2020, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Wherever We Are at Christmas, We Can Count on Going Home”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
In a sense, we’re all born into this world looking for our real home. This season reminds us of where to look.
I suppose Caesar Augustus might have been home one night when he rolled over in bed, probably sleeping fitfully due to acid reflux, snored in and muttered, “Ta-a-axes,” snored out and sputtered, “Mo-o-ore.” He didn’t really remember much about it in the morning; he just felt...

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"I'm Pretty Sure I Can Wire Around That"

Posted Dec 2nd 2020, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“I’m Pretty Sure I Can Wire Around That”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“I’m pretty sure I can wire around that.”
Right.
That’s the sort of statement that fits in very well with other Famous Last Word pronouncements of the Tim “the Toolman” Taylor variety.
“Nah, don’t flip the breaker; I’ll work it hot.”
“The can says it’s flammable, but this stuff almost never explodes.”
“Forget the extra jack; I’ll just crawl in under there.”
“Just put in a bigger fuse.”
I’ll admit that a light in my head flipped...

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Living Wisely Is Not the Same as Living Fearfully

Posted Nov 19th 2020, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Living Wisely Is Not the Same as Living Fearfully
By Curtis K. Shelburne
  We can be safe, or we can be truly alive. Not both. Opting for “safety” is an illusion both unsafe and pathetic, a gag gift all wrapped up with three bedraggled ribbons: fear, arrogance, and control.
       When safety is our highest goal, we betray a fear of life and, deeper still, a lack of trust in the God of life. Then we’re well on our way to becoming our...

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A Clock, a Deadline, a Caterpillar, a Train, and Living Hope

Posted Nov 9th 2020, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


A Clock, a Deadline, a Caterpillar, a Train, and Living Hope
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Well, here we go again. 
It’s a normal Monday morning. At least, as close to normal as anything gets in 2020.
Our clock just chimed 9:00 a.m. I know that because it chimed nine times in the key of G, ante meridiem, and not D, post meridiem.
Not really. Well, nine times, really. Different morning and evening keys? No. 
But I really am three hours away from my column deadline for...

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