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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To See Real Strength, Look Into the Face of a Farmer"

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


“To See Real Strength, Look Into the Face of a Farmer”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A glance through the window on the other side of the room tells me that we’re “in for it” again.
It’s mid-morning and the trees are already waving their branches maniacally, flailing arms raised in surrender, as the wind lashes them unmercifully. They seem to know that they are facing another withering day of wind-scourging, aided and abetted by blistering, unrelenting, sap-boiling, life-sapping heat.
The calendar says that it’s...

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"What Can We Know Right Now, and How Do We Feel?"

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


“What Can We Know Right Now, and How Do We Feel?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet,” wrote the man we know as the prophet Amos (7:14). He said that he was just a shepherd and a caretaker of sycamore trees when he was called by God to deliver the Lord’s message.
I understand. I’m a “non-prophet” myself. And right now I’m “sucking air” on delivering anyone’s message, even as a deadline for this...

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"It's Almost Never Wise to Trust a Mob"

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


“It’s Almost Never Wise to Trust a Mob”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Mobs. I never have cared much for them.
Personality—mine, that is—explains part of this. I’m not particularly freaked out by large crowds, I just don’t enjoy them and am happy to avoid them. It’s not a phobia. (“Enochlophobia” is “fear of crowds,” I’m told.) It’s a dislike.
I don’t enjoy what often seems mindless and is most certainly loud, and those two features tend to cluster around big crowds like flies around...

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"Judge Not, O Ye Masked or Mask-less Ones!"

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


“Judge Not, O Ye Masked or Mask-less Ones!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“Sheltering in place.”
Just for the record, it might be worth mentioning that “sheltering in place” is what we’re not doing.
Forgive me, please. I am far too much in love with freedom to turn anyone over to the Covid-19 police. I won’t be scowling at you if I meet you pushing your basket the wrong way down the jelly aisle at the supermarket. Besides that, it’ll probably be me swimming upstream;...

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"Our Church Went Back to Church on Sunday"

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


“Our Church Went Back to Church on Sunday”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Our church went back to church on Sunday. Our governor had said that we could, within some Covid-19 guidelines. Our little bunch chose to wait a week longer than required, and, just speaking for me, myself, and I, I’m glad we waited.
One size does not fit all, though we’re all trying to plot a way through this mess. Backseat drivers are already plentiful, and, though toilet paper was hard to...

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