"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...

Read More
 

"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...

Read More
 

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...

Read More
 

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...

Read More
 

"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...

Read More
 

"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...

Read More
 

"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;...

Read More
 

"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...

Read More
 

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...

Read More
 

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...

Read More
 

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...

Read More
 

"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...

Read More
 

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...

Read More
 

"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”...

Read More
 

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...

Read More