The Resurrection Is the Greatest "Eucatastrophe"

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


The Resurrection Is the Greatest “Eucatastrophe”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
More than a few writers have talked about the place where Joy and Sorrow meet.
In a moment of deep contentment, someone may say, “I’m so happy I could cry!” And in the moments of deepest and most unutterable joy, we say nothing at all. We don’t live long before we learn that tears are more precious than diamonds, and the best tears are tears of joy.
When those joy-tears come, we usually don’t...

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Thank God When We Avoid "What Might Have Been"!

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


Thank God When We Avoid “What Might Have Been”!
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Have you noticed? When something bad, sad, and tragic happens, we agonize, “Dear God, how could you allow this?” But, too often, when we see something bad, sad, tragic avoided, we fail to give thanks.
If you are my auto insurance agent or my wife, please stop reading in 3-2-1. Now.
I like San Antonio. But a few weeks ago, we headed that way, were almost there, rounded a bend on...

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Two Men. Two Failures. Different Tears.

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


Two Men. Two Failures. Different Tears.
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Here’s a riddle for you. It’s one that intrigues and gives me pause at about this same time every year.
 
Two men, two mouths,
    both tongues betray,
almost but not quite
    on the same day.
One fails and weeps,
   shinnies up and up
       and falls putrescently;
one fails and weeps,
    bows down and down
       and rises taller, finally,
           than before his perfidy.
   Love’s victory!
       Who are they?  
 
I’m neither a poet nor the son of...

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Sometimes the Main Event Is Not the Main Event

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


Sometimes the Main Event Is Not the Main Event
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Sometimes the main event is not the main event.
A couple of times a year I usually receive article requests, three at a time, from a great little daily devotional magazine. As with all of their writers, the editors pick two Scripture passages for me and I get to pick the third.
So when I received the request letter a few weeks ago, I wasn’t surprised. I opened it, perused the...

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"I See Dead People"

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


“I See Dead People”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“I see dead people.”
So said the cute little boy in the memorable line and creepy “confession” from the 1999 movie The Sixth Sense. I hope you don’t find it disturbing when I affirm that I do, too. See dead people, I mean.
For me, it happens pretty often and worries me not at all; in fact, it warms my heart. It gives me real hope. And I find it genuinely encouraging to know that I’ll...

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"Just Try Harder!" Said the Ladybug to the Worm

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


Just Try Harder!” Said the Ladybug to the Worm
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 “Just try harder!” urged the ladybug.
“I am trying,” protested the stressed-out caterpillar. “And I’ve been trying for hours! So far the only thing that’s happened is that I got so dizzy a few minutes ago I almost fell off my leaf.
“If I’d fallen, I’d surely agree that some wings would’ve come in handy. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, and if caterpillars could sprout wings by holding their...

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When Your Whole World Seems Tilted in Its Orbit

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


When Your Whole World Seems Tilted in Its Orbit
By Curtis K. Shelburne
It’s very nearly as weird-feeling as it is heart-rending—a day when you wake up and realize it’s just another ordinary day for most of the world around you, but your whole world has tilted in its orbit, shifted on its axis.
For you, almost nothing feels the same, and even the things that do, don’t. Their very sameness in this new universe renders them incredibly strange.
You brush your teeth just...

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When Jesus Says, "It's Time to Fish!"

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


When Jesus Says, “It’s Time to Fish . . .”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
In Luke 5 we find the story of the calling of the first apostles.
To get a little space from the crowd, Jesus has turned Simon Peter’s fishing boat into a pulpit, pushed out from the shore, and taught the people from the boat.
When Jesus finishes speaking, he looks over at Simon and, I think, with a twinkle in his eye, he says, “Okay, Simon, you’ve indulged me as...

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Unselfish Love: A Real Gift That Matters

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


Unselfish Love: A Real Gift That Matters
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Uh oh. It seems that the date for this column should probably indicate its content. Rats! If the whole thing reads like it was written by a Valentine’s Day grinch, I should just plead guilty.
It’s almost certainly good for husbands like me to have a deadline that calls for something on the order of flowers, gifts, candy, seriously over-priced cards, etc. I have difficulty appreciating the Madison Avenue manipulation, but I...

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Irreplaceable: When a Mary, a Martha, or a Dorcas Goes Home

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


Irreplaceable: When a Mary, a Martha, or a Dorcas Goes Home
By Curtis K. Shelburne
You probably didn’t notice a wobble in the earth’s rotation, a split-second tilt in its axis, a brief cosmic stutter last Wednesday. Neither did I.
But when I learned later that a sweet lady in Amarillo named Melba Joy had passed away suddenly that day, I immediately felt an emptiness in my soul, a pain in my heart, and a deep sense of loss. And I confess to...

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Even for Night Owls, God's Mercies Are "New Every Morning"

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


Even for Night Owls, God’s Mercies Are “New Every Morning”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
What a sweet morning I’ve just experienced! And this from a person not in the habit of gushing about mornings. A “morning person,” I am not.
The preceding sentence is just a fact. No moral ramifications are attached. Not by me. I have actually even met a few humble morning folks who seem to harbor no self-righteous “early to rise” prejudices. I refer the others to mounting research and...

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Mature "Little Children" Could Solve the Government Shutdown

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


Mature “Little Children” Could Solve the Government Shutdown
By Curtis K. Shelburne
As I write, it is Day 31 of the longest government shutdown in the history of our nation.
I tend to think that a much longer, much more permanent, shutdown of a good many regulation-spawning government bureaucracies would be about as detrimental to our nation as a cure for cancer would be to our health.
But life (and government) is neither that simple nor that fair. We actually need many of the...

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Reverse Snobbery and "All Things New"

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


Reverse Snobbery and “All Things New”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A big part of this is reverse snobbery, I know, but I love my old pickup truck.
That faithful machine already had 90,000 miles on it when I flew down to Houston a bunch of years ago, laid eyes on it, and fell in love. The original owner must have loved that truck, too, because he took great care of it.
I probably haven’t been quite as faithful in that department. I try to...

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January Is a Good Time for Looking in Both Directions

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


January Is a Good Time for Looking in Both Directions
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Well, here we find ourselves again in January, and maybe some reflection is in order.
On the one hand, author Thomas Mann is right: “Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”...

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In God We Trust--Not in Us

Posted Dec 31st 2018, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


In God We Trust—Not in Us
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I am writing this column on December 26. Christmas is not even close to being over. This is only the second of the “twelve days of Christmas,” which was a season a very long time before it was a song.
I’m whistling in the wind, I know, but I prefer to stand with the wisdom of the centuries on this one and not with Western marketing. My little $5 tree and the lights...

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