"Courage Is Almost a Contradiction in Terms"

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


“Courage Is Almost a Contradiction in Terms”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms,” writes G. K. Chesterton. “It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.”
Yes, and we wonder, don’t we? We always wonder how much courage we really have, for how can we know until we’re tested?
I still have my draft card. I remember when I was still in high school, Amarillo’s Tascosa High, being required to make the short...

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A Cat, Some Kittens, and Some Surprising Joy

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


A Cat, Some Kittens, and Some Surprising Joy
By Curtis K. Shelburne
True confession #1: I don’t feel the least bit guilty about my next true confession.
True confession #2: I have never been much of a cat person. I’ll pick a slobbering dog over a condescending cat every time.
I do admit that those types are not necessarily the only choices. But enough truth lies in the stereotypes that we all chuckle knowingly at Winston Churchill’s variously-quoted truth: “Cats look down on you,...

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Real Joy Never Runs Out, Never Runs Down

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


Real Joy Never Runs Out, Never Runs Down
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Entropy.
What pops into your head when you hear that word?
Well, just to prove that I listened some in a science class forty-plus years ago, here ya go: “The tendency of a body in motion to remain in motion and a body at rest to remain at rest.”
Impressive, right?
Not so much. Because, I’m now reminded, that is the definition of “inertia,” not “entropy.”
Okay. Let me think. “Entropy” is “a wasting away...

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"In Times Like These, It Helps to Recall . . ."

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


In Times Like These, It Helps to Recall . . .”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”
Yep.
I’m not sure where I first heard that statement, but I’ve always thought that its truth packs a punch. I did a little “search engine” research and found it attributed to Paul Harvey or Will Harvey. Some versions say “remember” instead of “recall.” I don’t know Will Harvey, but I certainly remember...

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"Talking Dog for Sale: Five Dollars"

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


“Talking Dog for Sale: Five Dollars”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I’ve long ago forgotten where I found the tale I’m about to relate, but I like it. Personally, I very much doubt that it’s factual; it does, however, hold a lesson or two that are true indeed.
As the story goes, a fellow was walking down the street one day when he saw a hand-lettered sign in a yard: “Talking Dog: Five Dollars.”
Quite curious, the man walked up to the front door of...

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When Love Fails and Christ's People Fuss

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


When Love Fails and Christ’s People Fuss
By Curtis K. Shelburne
If heaven were not already Paradise, the mere fact that no misunderstanding will mar its joy would make it heavenly.
Drat it! I got word recently of yet another misunderstanding and its sad fruit: broken relationships, deep hurt, and the waste of precious energy that could be put to far better use.
Careful now, lest you think I’m writing about anyone we might both know.
Remember the story about the fellow in England who...

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A Conversation With the Apostle Thomas

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


A Conversation With the Apostle Thomas
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Ah, Thomas, I hate to mention this, but you could have saved yourself a great deal of trouble if you’d have just hung with the rest of the disciples on that first Easter evening.
You wouldn’t believe the spin lots of folks have put on the fact that you weren’t there that night. Yes, I know one would think that people would give an apostle of Christ the benefit of the doubt, so...

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"We're Still Friends If You Disagree"

Posted Apr 22nd, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“We’re Still Friends If You Disagree”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Since this column has my name on it, this should be obvious: The opinions expressed herein are simply my own to own.
G. K. Chesterton died far too long ago for me to tell him, in this life anyway, how much I love his writing. I do indeed love his way with words and his wit regarding politics (and everything else).
Regarding government in general, he writes, “All government is an ugly necessity.”
Regarding politics,...

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Won't It Be Nice to Be Out of Time?

Posted Apr 15th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


Won’t It Be Nice to Be Out of Time?
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Won’t it be nice to be out of time?
Say what?
I’m serious, and I repeat: Won’t it be nice to be out of time?
I don’t wonder that you’re confused. You’re probably thinking: Whaddaya mean? “Nice” to be out of time? I find myself “out of time” innumerable times every week, and running out of time may be many things, but “nice” is not one of them. Try another word, Bucko!
How...

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Resurrection Power Transforms the Ordinary

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


Resurrection Power Transforms the Ordinary
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“He is risen!”
“He is risen indeed!”
Such power is difficult to imagine. We read the Gospel accounts and try to view the scenes in our mind’s eye. Mind-boggling.
Pick any of the events of that first Holy Week. Some are obviously filled with meaning and mystery. Some seem rather mundane, almost commonplace for that time and place, until the Gospel writers and Christ himself pull back the curtain just a bit. Any Passover meal is...

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"Then Simon Peter Drew His Sword"

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


“Then Simon Peter Drew His Sword”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
“I could be wrong to swing this sword, but swing it I will! Try to arrest my Lord, if you will, but this sword says that there will be blood!”
Was something like that going through the Apostle Peter’s head when, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he drew his sword and swung it to defend his Lord?
An armed “detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees” (John 18:3),...

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"Lord, I Believe; Help My Unbelief!"

Posted Mar 25th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Lord, I Believe; Help My Unbelief!”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
The people of faith who impress me the most are the people who are the least impressed with their own faith.
Folks like this are slow to throw down glib and easy answers to life’s hardest questions. They’re quick to be present, mostly in silence, as they put an arm around a friend facing one of life’s genuine tragedies and offer real tears, but they’re slow to show up to add verbal drizzle...

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"Roused, Am I Waked, Woken, or Woke?"

Posted Mar 18th, 12:00 by Focus on Faith on Christian Living


“Roused, Am I Waked, Woken, or Woke?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I am a self-confessed English major. And I’m choosing words carefully here, words that in our present cultural climate serve as—take your pick—solemn and grim warnings, red stop signs surrounded by flashing lights, cease and desist orders complete with dire penalties lawyer-littered in pages of small print.
I am [pause here for display of deep emotion as a substitute for rational thinking] concerned.
I am [pause here for display of deep emotion as...

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"True Confession: I Am an English Major"

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


“True Confession: I Am an English Major”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
I am an English major.
I am an English major who wears many hats in my work and the various aspects of it, but most of them are colored by the fact that, as I mention yet again just before I step off a verbal cliff and fall into triple redundancy, I am an English major.
My wife married me anyway. She says that as a young lass she’d always thought she’d marry...

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God Has No Problem Identifying His Children

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


God Has No Problem Identifying His Children
By Curtis K. Shelburne
During one of the most famous battles ever fought, the World War II “Battle of the Bulge,” the Germans made use of a battalion of men commanded by Major Otto Skorzeny, “the most daring commando in the German army.”
According to author Stephen Ambrose in his book Citizen Soldier, 500 or so volunteers from that battalion were dressed in American uniforms and dispatched across the lines to wreak havoc and confusion, perpetrate...

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