"Sensdistra Is Good for What Ails Ya!"

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


“Sensdistra Is Good for What Ails Ya!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A good commercial can be a lot of fun. I’m thinking about the TV sort. You know—cave men, lizards with British accents. That sort of thing.
But I am full to overflowing (yea, verily, to nausea) with two other TV ad-types—those pumped out by slime-oozing lawyers and those peddled by drug pushers. Let’s tackle the latter.
I am very thankful indeed for the availability of needed medications that make our lives much better....

Read More
 

Tripping Over a Logical Fallacy Can Cause Bruises

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


Tripping Over a Logical Fallacy Can Cause Bruises
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I don’t have a clue what the rules are now at most universities regarding graduate/teaching assistants. I do know that when I was working on a master’s degree and serving in that capacity, teaching assistants actually taught. A lot.
It was not unusual for me to teach three or more sections of English 101 (Freshman Composition) per semester. The departmental goal for English 101 was that each student write ten 500-word...

Read More
 

When "War" Comes to Worship, All Sides Lose

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


When “War” Comes to Worship, All Sides Lose
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I try to avoid ever firing any shots in what have been called the “worship wars.”
“Worship” and “war.” Those two words together, not held at arm’s length from each other by a conjunction, form a jarring contradiction.
We know what the Apostle Paul would say because we know what he did say in Philippians 4:2 to two squabbling gals named Euodia and Syntyche (who some wit has christened Odious and Soon-touchy)....

Read More
 

"So, Bob, Would You Hand Me That Thingamajig?"

Posted Jul 26th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“So, Bob, Would You Hand Me That Thingamajig?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 
Thingamajig. Doohickey. Dillybob. Whatsit.
Those are, of course, all words we use to refer to things for which we are unsure of the actual word, if there is one, for the thingamajig in question.
There. I’ve written “thingamajig” twice now, and my spell-checker has thus far resisted the impulse (do spell-checkers have impulses?) to squiggle a red line under the word, thereby calling my spelling into question. “Thingamajig” is evidently now a...

Read More
 

"Trendy," By Its Very Nature, Can't Last

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


“Trendy,” By Its Very Nature, Can't Last
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“Trendy” never lasts.
Whether you’re talking about clothing and hair styles, the latest instructional “cure-all” in education, technological whiz-bang devices, automobiles (think Pacers and PT Cruisers), tattoos still affixed to one’s epidermis long after the tatt has sagged past its coolness date, “cool” marches on.
No surprise, words and phrases also have a shelf life; the trendiest end up the moldiest most quickly.
For years, no mission statement (speaking of trendy) was complete without some...

Read More
 

A Home Renovation Is Easier Than a Soul Upgrade

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


A Home Renovation Is Easier Than a Soul Upgrade
By Curtis K. Shelburne
It was a joy last week to finally come out of the closet.
Well, perhaps I’d better rephrase that lest you get the wrong idea. And, to be completely accurate, I probably should say “out of the closets.” Two of them.
For clarity, maybe I’d better back up and take another run at this.
One of my sons and his sweet family are moving into a new old house. New to them....

Read More
 

God Chuckles and Says, "Time for Bed, Child"

Posted Jun 28th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


God Chuckles and Says, “Time for Bed, Child”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 
When I learned that CBS’ 60 Minutes news program was doing a story on sleep, I was interested. Sleeping is one thing I’ve always been very good at. But if anyone has pointers to help my technique . . . So I made sure to watch what was a fascinating program, and I learned a lot.
In 1980, a study was done using rats who were kept awake indefinitely. After five...

Read More
 

"How to Think" Is Worth Some Thought

Posted Jun 21st, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“How to Think” Is Worth Some Thought
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I’ve been enjoying reading a fine book by Alan Jacobs, a professor in the Honors Program at Baylor University. When I tell you the title of the book, you’ll likely smile and tell me that, obviously, I read it none too soon. It’s titled How to Think.
If you just peruse our social landscape very briefly, you’ll certainly recognize the need for better thinking. Often any attempt at cogent thought at all...

Read More
 

God's Grace: It Just Isn't Fair!

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


God’s Grace: It Just Isn’t Fair!
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A surpassingly strange story it is, and enough to make a math or accounting major bite nails. I’m talking about Jesus’ Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16).
Here’s the story in a nutshell: It’s grape-harvest in Palestine. A vineyard owner goes out early to hire men to work in his vineyard, and he agrees to pay them a denarius, a normal day’s wage. They go to work.
At 9:00 a.m. he...

Read More
 

What Will Happen Next in the Adventure of Life?

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


What Will Happen Next in the Adventure of Life?
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I don’t remember ever quoting that famous philosopher Forrest Gump, but here you go: “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”
That’s true, isn’t it?
Noted Swiss psychiatrist and Christian of deep faith Paul Tournier wrote a book about that truth and summed it all up in the book’s title, The Adventure of Living. Life, he writes, is, by definition,...

Read More
 

Our Souls Need Real, Not Counterfeit, Rest

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


Our Souls Need Real, Not Counterfeit, Rest
By Curtis K. Shelburne
For many of us, one of the hardest things we ever do is doing nothing. Incredibly difficult, disciplining ourselves to find some regular time to do nothing is the best way to make the doings that we do, when the time is right for doing, worth something once the doing’s done. When we never really rest, we just end up done in, and much of the doing becomes dry dust bereft...

Read More
 

The Stars Speak Loudly, Wisely, in Silvery Silence

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


The Stars Speak Loudly, Wisely, in Silvery Silence
By Curtis K. Shelburne
The yard mowing was finished. One more time. A personal best, by the way. Two hours. Mowing our 10,000 square foot yard usually requires almost three hours.
The last part of the job had pretty much been accomplished in Braille. It was a Wednesday evening. We’d gathered, as usual, with our church folks for a meal, etc., 6:00-7:00. (I am so very glad we meet that early.)
But Daylight Saving Time, a...

Read More
 

When God Posts a Warning, It Pays to Pay Attention

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


When God Posts a Warning, It Pays to Pay Attention
By Curtis K. Shelburne
It had to be a government production, the sign I saw. Only a glassy-eyed bean-counting bureaucrat with common sense completely and laboriously expunged by years of mind-numbing training could have produced it. (Your tax dollars at work.)
Posted above a busy tramway, the sign proclaimed in large letters: TOUCHING WIRES CAUSES INSTANT DEATH. Good information, that.
But then in smaller letters was posted this message: “$200 Fine.”
Well, fine indeed. But...

Read More
 

Knowledge and Wisdom Are Not the Same Things

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


Knowledge and Wisdom Are Not the Same Things
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Knowledge and wisdom are not the same things. As has been wisely observed, knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad. On a deeper level . . .
Knowledge has to do with knowing about created things; wisdom means knowing the Creator.
Knowledge means knowing facts about the past in order to make a good grade on your history...

Read More
 

"Wednesday's Meeting Has Been Moved Forward"

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


“Wednesday’s Meeting Has Been Moved Forward”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Good morning.
Forgive me for even considering such, but I almost planted an exclamation point at the end of “morning.” It is indeed morning as I write. I’ve eased into light, speech, and a little thought, but that I would even consider assailing your mental ears this early in the day with the kind of volume implied by that loudest of punctuation marks, well, I apologize for almost falling into such brutish behavior....

Read More