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

Posted Yesterday, 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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One Size Never Fits All

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


One Size Never Fits All
By Curtis K. Shelburne
One size never fits all. If you’ve lived for ten minutes or so, I probably don’t need to tell you that.
But one of my brothers just sent in a text to the rest of his brothers a photo of a government form designed by some nameless bureaucrat or committee of bureaucrats or building burgeoning with bureaucrats (of the sort some folks would like to place in charge of the part of our nation’s...

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Genuine Truth Is as Real and Unchangeable as Gravity

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


Genuine Truth Is as Real and Unchangeable as Gravity
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I was scrolling through some news this morning and ran across a completely nonsensical “headline” in the midst of much “non-news.” Some popular actress or other generic celebrity (I don’t remember her name), the headline promised, would tell us all about “her truth.”
Great. I suppose that if we’re interested enough to read that article, we can logically look forward to some companion articles, some sequels. Maybe she can...

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What We Have Is a "Failure to Communicate"

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


What We Have Is a “Failure to Communicate”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A language problem.
We have a language problem, writes geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Marc Agronin in the Wall Street Journal, which is “Why It’s So Hard to Talk to Your Parents About the Coronavirus.”
We don’t want hard times, struggles, and suffering. But one thing they do for us is bring to the surface truths that we already deeply or instinctively knew were lurking just barely underwater. Then we wonder why we...

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"Christ's Disciples Were Sheltering in Place When Suddenly..."

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


“Christ’s Disciples Were Sheltering in Place When Suddenly . . .”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
A normal Easter Sunday.
That’s pretty much exactly what this Covid-19 Easter Sunday 2020 wasn’t.
For my family, it was already a “particularly special” holy day. It was the fifth anniversary of my granddaughter Brenley’s baptism. And it was the thirty-fifth anniversary of our move to the 16th & D Church in Muleshoe. Especially special, for sure.
Just not normal.
Like churches all over the country, and a lot of the...

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Resurrection Hope Shines Brightly in Dark Times

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


Resurrection Hope Shines Brightly in Dark Times
By Curtis K. Shelburne
As most of our friends and parishioners know, my brothers and I, all four of us preachers, head to Robert Lee, Texas, a couple of times a year to spend some time together at the old home place of our maternal grandparents. We were supposed to be there last week, but the Covid-19 virus, national and state authorities, and our wives clipped our wings.
The Coke County Ministerial Conference. That is...

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"What Can We Learn in the Midst of This Mess?"

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


“What Can We Learn in the Midst of This Mess?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Like most humans with a few years on them, I’ve had an occasion or a few (not too terribly many) to mention to the Lord that, in this distress or that difficulty, I have at least two requests. Jesus did, after all, teach us to ask, so I do.
First, I’d much prefer to avoid the mess altogether. What I have in mind is not “strength to get through”...

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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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