How Much in Your Life Seems Normal Right Now?

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


How Much in Your Life Seems Normal Right Now?
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I’ve long thought that, in so many ways, the biggest blessings of life are the small ones. The weeks we’re living through right now underline that, don’t they? 
If, just a few weeks ago, you were a little bored and tired of the “normal” routine of your life, I’ll wager that is not the case now.
I admit that I can hardly understand ever being bored. I’ve always got more to...

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The Muleona Virus and the Ravages of Time

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


The Muleona Virus and the Ravages of Time
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I must begin this column with an apology and a plea for your patience. This is third column, in as many weeks, in which I mention the coronavirus. Witless, I know. But terror drives people to extremes. (Well, yes, but terror is not my problem; a lack of imagination is, and when a column idea flies overhead, I’ve gotta snatch it, pluck it, and cook it even if it comes...

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Tweet Quote: "The Coronavirus Panic Is Dumb"

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


Tweet Quote: “The Coronavirus Panic Is Dumb”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Oops! I doubt he cares, but it looks like a billionaire toy maker for cool kids just got himself into a bit of a bind. (He makes high-priced and over-hyped electric cars—he can keep those, as far as I’m concerned—and some seriously cool rocket ships.)
All Tesla CEO Elon Musk did to generate knee-jerk howls was to tweet elegantly and articulately, “The coronavirus panic is dumb.”
Not everybody disagreed. I’m told that he...

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Coveys of Quail, Columnists, Politicians, and Covid-19

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


Coveys of Quail, Columnists, Politicians, and Covid-19
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Quail. I have nothing at all against those birds. I enjoy looking at them. I’ve fed a few. Raised a few. Shot a few. Eaten a few. I enjoy them on every level, from my eyeballs to my taste buds. So I don’t mean to slander these fine birds when I say that their images should be woven into the logos of the world’s leading stock exchanges.
Or maybe instead the exchanges...

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"I Love You for Sentimental Reasons . . ."

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


“I Love You for Sentimental Reasons . . .”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“I love you for sentimental reasons . . .”
Yes, indeed, and I love singing that sweet old song and so many more of the “Great American Songbook” songs, songs like “It Had to Be You,” “The Very Thought of You,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” and my favorite of all, “Unforgettable” (unforgettably rendered by Nat King Cole in tones of velvet).
Old songs for sure. In order, above—1945, 1924, 1934,...

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Reality Is Hard, But Denying Reality Is Harder

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


Reality Is Hard, But Denying Reality Is Harder
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Dealing with reality can be hard, but it’s better than the alternative which looks easy and turns out to be much harder.
In Jesus’ famous parable of “The Two Builders,” he talks about two gents who both did the hard work of building houses. Yes, but only one, the “wise builder,” did the harder work of building his on the right foundation, one of rock; the “foolish builder” built on sand....

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For God's Kids, the World Is Always Expanding

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


For God’s Kids, the World Is Always Expanding
By Curtis K. Shelburne
It’s a good thing when your world expands. When I was a child living at 125 N. Goliad Street in Amarillo, Texas, my world expanded one sidewalk at a time. My younger brother and I were great adventurers. His mighty steed was a red and white tricycle. Mine was orange and white and slightly larger. All it took to turn the trikes into motorcycles was an index card or two...

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For Real People, Doing Everything Right Is Not a Real Option

Posted Feb 5th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


For Real People, Doing Everything Right Is Not a Real Option
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A good many folks believe that, if you do everything right, you might live to be well over 100.
Two glaring presuppositions shine forth from this belief. One is that you actually might want to live to be “well over 100.” Not me, thanks.
The other most obvious problem is actually two falsehoods for the price of one—that it’s possible to “do everything right,” and that you will.
Under “doing...

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Watering Weeds is Fools' Work

Posted Jan 30th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Watering Weeds Is Fools’ Work
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Recently, I watered a weed. “Big deal,” you say, “most folks in your neighborhood, mortals whose lawns are not perfect, water weeds every time they water. What makes you special?”
No, you don’t understand. For a few weeks in the summer, I singled this weed out and watered it. It had popped up in a planter among some pretty little flowering plants of another variety. But it looked to me a little like some...

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"Well, You Got Old, Too! I Give Up!"

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


“Well, You Got Old, Too! I Give Up!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“Well, you got old, too! I give up!”
That was the greeting offered to me recently by a cherished (and dare I say?) old friend who is one of my respected predecessors in my present (for almost 35 years) pulpit.
In his Gospel, St. Luke tells us that when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and “greeted” her, Mary was “deeply troubled and wondered what manner of greeting this might be” (1:29).
The...

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"How Are Your New Year's Resolutions Going?"

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


“How Are Your New Year’s Resolutions Going?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Well, how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along?
Oh? Sorry. I didn’t mean to touch a sore spot. I suppose nothing is a much sorer spot for humans than having to face the fact that we don’t measure up even to our own standards, much less to God’s. The spirit indeed is willing. We want to do better. Be better. But the flesh is ever so weak. Which is why I’m...

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"I Know These Things About the New Year"

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


“I Know These Things About the New Year”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
As I write this week’s column, can I just admit from the outset that I’m not sure I should be writing this week’s column? At least, not on this topic. I could easily come off as grouchy and pessimistic, depressed and depressing. Better to keep my mouth shut.
But I’ll give it a shot. Writing, that is. I’m not disciplined enough to shut up.
You see, just a few days ago we...

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A Look Inside the Mangers of Our Minds

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


A Look Inside the Mangers of Our Minds
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“There is holiness to memory,” Philip Gulley writes in his Christmas in Harmony, and “a sense of God’s presence” in what Gulley calls the “mangers of the mind.”
Perhaps the memories in the manger center on wonderful moments in a decades-long line of Christmas Eve services or the particular way your family lit the Advent candles each year. Other memories in the manger almost certainly focus on Christmas joys, as commonplace...

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"The Red Hat in a Gray-suit World"

Posted Dec 23rd 2019, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“The Red Hat in a Gray-suit World”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“By the way, I’m not doing Christmas cards. If you want them sent, you’ll have to do it.”
According to Sam Gardner in Philip Gulley’s delightful “Harmony” series, it was the same “fight” every year. Sam, pastor of the Harmony Friends’ Meeting (Quaker church) would buy four boxes of Christmas cards at Kivett’s Five and Dime and lay them on the dining room table with the address book nearby.
On this particular year,...

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Thank God for Shepherds and Stargazers!

Posted Dec 19th 2019, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Thank God for Shepherds and Stargazers!
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Thank the Lord for shepherds and stargazers!
While muckety-mucks in Rome were trying to figure out new and improved ways to shake even more shekels from the pockets of the subjugated populace and further filch the meager bread of the common man, the Highest of Kings was pretty much ignoring Rome. The true King was dispatching a troop of angelic hosts, any one of whom would be stronger than an assembly of all...

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