Living Wisely Is Not the Same as Living Fearfully

Posted Nov 19th, 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, 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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Election 2020: Some Thoughts for Dual Citizens

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


Election Day 2020: Some Thoughts for Dual Citizens
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Here we go. Election Day 2020. Tomorrow, as I write.
I’m not sure I remember ever dreading one, an election day, more (though the 2016 experience was very close).
It’s not the day I dread so much as the very real possibility of an Election Month or months or, maybe worse still, an “election in the courts.”
Maybe as you’re reading this you’ll know a good deal more than I possibly can (as...

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"A Little Varmint Hunting Always Makes Me Feel Better"

Posted Oct 29th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“A Little Varmint Hunting Always Makes Me Feel Better”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Fair warning this is, given to protect your eyes and general psyche from sudden and perhaps overwhelming shock: If you open the door at our house that leads five steps down into the garage, you will find bodies everywhere. You will have literally stepped into a killing zone.
So, there. You have been warned.
A couple or three years ago, a dear friend gave me for Christmas one of the best...

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The Pandemic, Statistics, and Perspectives

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


The Pandemic, Statistics, and Perspective
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Death. There seems to have been a lot of it lately, at least in my experience. Funerals have been the order of the day.
I know. Your first thought will likely be of COVID-19 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States, at this point, has suffered 219,282 deaths.
Of course, we’re awash in numbers as we try to get a perspective on this mess.  I found some particularly interesting. (But check me on...

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Question: "I Wonder What Would Happen If..."

Posted Oct 8th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Question: “I Wonder What Would Happen If . . .”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I wonder.
I wonder what would happen . . .
Well, it probably wouldn’t happen, at least, not with the folks I’m thinking of, though I think there’s a pretty good chance it could happen, would happen, and does happen with you or me or anybody you really want to spend much time around, folks who don’t suck the air out of any room they enter, people you can honestly...

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"Wow! That Person Really Knows the Bible!"

Posted Oct 1st, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Wow! That Person Really Knows the Bible!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“Wow! That person really knows the Bible!” I hear that comment made fairly often, and I always wonder what the speaker means.
Usually they mean that someone is quite familiar with the words of the Bible, its many facts and wonderful stories, etc. On one level, that’s great, since most studies these days show that the general level of factual Bible knowledge among even Christians is appalling.
But then I wonder, how much...

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"What Might Be Filed in a 'Column Seed' Folder?"

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


“What Might Be Filed in a ‘Column Seed’ Folder?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Two or three folders stuffed with little pieces of paper covered in scrawled notes. A computer file folder named “ColumnSeed” with files named “ColSeed0001” and on up, presently, to “ColSeed0334.” What each of those folders holds, of course, are ideas for newspaper columns/blogs and now, podcasts.
The column-starter ideas submerged in them (though most are relatively benevolent) are a bit like the nuclear missiles resting in submarines and silos: they...

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"Why Didn't I See That Wreck Coming?"

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


“Why Didn’t I See That Wreck Coming?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Some wrecks you simply cannot see coming; others, well, it’s almost criminal negligence not to see them heading your way. The latter can and should be avoided.
If you are busy minding your own business as a good citizen when you are suddenly dispatched (tragically, for sure) by falling space junk, or perhaps by a less flashy but nonetheless spectacular, garden variety meteorite, I don’t see how anyone could rationally criticize you...

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"A Good Door-knocker, I Am Not!"

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


 
“A Good Door-knocker, I Am Not!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I might as well just admit it: I am not a good door-knocker.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Probably not me, or you’d not have heard the clatter.
I don’t like to make noise. I like peace and quiet and assume that others do, too, so I tend to knock too quietly. Nor do I enjoy having to stand outside a door as I realize that I knocked too tentatively and that it’s probably my...

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"My Grandchildren Have Each Come Equipped with GPS"

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


“My Grandchildren Have Each Come Equipped with GPS”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
When my first grandchild, a beautiful little girl, was born, I was surprised to learn that grandchildren are born with an integrated GPS. All of mine have come thus equipped.
The Grandpa Positioning System can be initiated with a simple smile aimed at the old guy, a pudgy little finger pointing PawPaw in a specific direction, or a cute giggle triggering Granddaddy Gymnastics (which—let grandpas beware—may lead to lumbar consequences).
At one...

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"I Will Soon Be Taking Orders for MAMA Caps"

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


“I Will Soon Be Taking Orders for MAMA Caps”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I’ve been thinking about ordering some hats. Caps, really. Baseball-style caps. Something like those famous red ones that are emblazoned “MAGA.”
But those won’t work for me. Oh, we can discuss the message, but I don’t plan to. Not here. I’m just talking about the style.
The fact is, I’m not a big hat person. I sometimes wish I was. Nothing looks better than a nice cowboy hat on a guy...

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"May I Say Just a Few Words in Favor of Mondays?"

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


“May I Say Just a Few Words in Favor of Mondays?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Well, here we are again. Monday morning. At least, in my corner of the universe. I mean, of course, as I’m writing this. I don’t know when you’re reading it. Whenever it is, I do very much appreciate your discerning and impeccable literary tastes. (And, I beg you, please give me at least one more chance after you read this particular column. I’m thinking it will be...

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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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