A Time for Contrasts and Comparisons

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


A Time for Contrasts and Comparisons
By Curtis K. Shelburne
What an astounding contrast!
In the midst of the sights and sounds cascading from Ukraine, I think we’ve all been struck by a stark contrast.
Most of us in this world are not used to being bombarded daily with actual bombs, but we’ve become sadly accustomed to the carpet-bombing of common sense. Everything from gender to the multiplication tables is held to be incredibly fluid (“incredibly” literally means “unbelievably”). It’s as if, esteeming ourselves...

Read More
 

Do Faith Healers Have Specialties?

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


Do Faith Healers Have Specialties?
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Do faith healers have specialties?
Doctors do, of course. I’d not be surprised to find an LDP specialist available should you need a Left Distal Phalange doctor for your port side little toe.
Not that long ago, I could have used an RDP specialist for my fractured RDP, but my very excellent primary care/GP/family medicine physician and friend), since retired, was more than able to deal deftly with both left and right distal phalanges...

Read More
 

"Thou Shalt Take Some Time to Rest"

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


 
“Thou Shalt Take Some Time to Rest”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Do kindergartners still take rest mats with them to school as the term begins each year?
It was actually first grade for me when I started public school in Amarillo, Texas, at San Jacinto Elementary School. I had already completed kindergarten, diploma in hand. That K for “kindergarten” was the private kind my folks paid for because they thought I could do with the “socialization.” School districts had not at that...

Read More
 

"We Are So Good Together" Begs a Question

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


“We Are So Good Together” Begs a Question
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I am writing this column on Valentine’s Day.
If you know me, you’ll know that few husbands in the history of the celebration of Valentine’s Day are more accomplished, more innovative, more dependably and incredibly devoted to making memories on Valentine’s Day than am I.
And, if you know me, you are now laughing out loud.
I admit it: I have a dicey relationship with Valentine’s Day, and my wife deserves much better...

Read More
 

"Our Father Delights in Us Always"

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


“Our Father Delights in Us Always”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
If you’re interested in watching a bunch of incredibly cute ants race-crawling all over themselves on a basketball court, I’d suggest finding a game featuring teams of mostly six-year-olds.  
That’s the entertainment my wife and I sought on a recent Friday evening, and entertained we were! Even the refs were entertaining—and wise. I don’t think either of them ever whistled out a “walking” call, but they regularly reminded the participants that the ball...

Read More
 

"The Years of My Pilgrimage Are . . ."

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


 
“The Years of My Pilgrimage Are . . .”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
No surprise, some of the greatest stories the world has ever known are found in the Bible book of Genesis. And one of the best of the best is the story of Jacob (Israel) and Joseph. 
My wife was reading in Genesis recently, and she reminded me of something I’d forgotten.
When, after a long series of amazing events in the larger story, we come to Genesis 47, we find that...

Read More
 

A Pastor at Home on Sunday Morning

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


A Pastor at Home on Sunday Morning
By Curtis K. Shelburne
It’s a cold Sunday morning, and I’m warm at home, sitting in front of a great fire.
This is weird. At least, for me. As a pastor, I’m usually at church on Sundays a long time before this present hour.
Don’t get me wrong. If you think pastors don’t have Sunday mornings when they’d really like to sleep in, your opinion of the breed is far too high. One of my favorite cartoons...

Read More
 

A Few Words in Praise of the Commonplace

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


A Few Words in Praise of the Commonplace
By Curtis K. Shelburne
The commonplace. There’s a lot to be said for it, I think.
By the way, if you do an internet search for “commonplace,” you may be surprised to find that, for more than a few centuries, a “commonplace book” or, simply, a “commonplace” was a book or notebook in which people wrote down and kept quotations, sayings, notes of all sorts, little bits of helpful knowledge, poems, recipes, measures, verses, and...

Read More
 

Launching into 2022 Feels Strange

Posted Jan 13th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Launching into 2022 Feels Strange
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Here we are, two weeks into 2022, and it still feels weird to me.
“It” is ambiguous both in that first sentence and in my head. It certainly refers to 2022, the year itself. How in the name of creeping chronometers did we get to this . . . point, point, point, point, point?
Well, that’s how. A split second and a clock-click, a pendulum-swing and a heartbeat at a time. Time’s faucet drip, drip,...

Read More
 

The Calendar Really Does Say "2022"

Posted Jan 6th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


The Calendar Really Does Say “2022”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
The calendar says that it’s now 2022. My various electronic devices all agree on that opinion.
What? You say that it’s a fact, actual reality, and not just an opinion? Wow, your thinking is hopelessly dated, by which I mean, out-dated.
In the very advanced—one might say, progressive, enlightened, and “woke” society—objective reality is yesterday’s thinking; reality now is almost completely dependent upon how you feel about “your” reality. Yes, pilgrim, you, too, can...

Read More
 

"The Central Miracle . . . Is the Incarnation"

Posted Dec 30th 2021, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“The Central Miracle . . . Is the Incarnation”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“The Grand Miracle.”
That’s how C. S. Lewis described the Son of God coming “in the flesh” at Bethlehem. And he writes, “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation.”
If anyone had asked me, I might at first have been inclined to say that the “central miracle” is Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, his Atonement for our sins, and his glorious Resurrection. And it certainly would be hard to...

Read More
 

"We Want Christmas to Be Perfect"

Posted Dec 23rd 2021, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“We Want Christmas to Be Perfect”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
We want it to be perfect, you know. Christmas, I mean.
We really do. Something deep within us wants the lights and the trees, the music and the gifts, the family gatherings and candle-lit worship—all of it—to be Christmas card perfect.
Do I claim to be an exception? No, I do not. Truth be told, though, it’s not so much that I hope each new Christmas will be more beautiful than the last, I...

Read More
 

"Do Not Be Afraid" of Christmas

Posted Dec 16th 2021, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Do Not Be Afraid” of Christmas
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I don’t know about you; I used to really enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July. But then somebody told me the truth about it.
Somebody who really knows (probably like sore losers on both ends of the political spectrum who “know” that our last two presidential elections were stolen; nefarious Russian “collusion” or magic vote-tampering, take your pick—anything but the more boring truth that the two losers ran rotten campaigns) has figured out...

Read More
 

Finding Hope and Joy in the Light

Posted Dec 9th 2021, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Finding Hope and Joy in the Light
By Curtis K. Shelburne
 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9).
It’s the light, you know!
   Twirling, swirling, splash-silvering
         crisp snow below.
   Liquid luminescence and stardust inadvertently shed
         By pirouetting angels in the sky
                 above the Christ-child’s head.
   They fly, as has been said,
         by taking themselves lightly!
   Ah, the delight! Such glory and brightness!
         O’er that rude Baby King-sized bed.
   And look! Nestled warm...

Read More
 

A Confession of Unfaithful Behavior

Posted Dec 2nd 2021, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


A Confession of Unfaithful Behavior
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I guess I’d better confess.
Before I do, may I just say that I thought I could live with the guilt. I tried to convince myself that the transgression was not particularly serious.
But now I feel unfaithful. I feel dirty. Like I need a shower.
It was Monday afternoon. I’m never at my best on Mondays. I was tired. I was out of town. Temptation is always harder to resist when you’re weary and miles...

Read More