An Open Letter to Police Spouses

An Open Letter to Police Spouses

Dear Police Spouses, The events of recent days have taken a toll on your husbands, wives, and fiancés. The one you love is working overtime. He is encountering people on nearly every call that are impacted emotionally by the pandemic we have all experienced. She is encountering people who are on edge. And, the one you love is being called all kinds of nasty things. Some of your families have been threatened. I have a word of comfort for you….

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Do You Really Want to Listen?

Do You Really Want to Listen?

The events of recent days have been most disturbing to me. As a law enforcement chaplain, I join those that I serve with in denouncing the criminal actions of those who swore to protect and serve in Minneapolis. They must be held accountable. I have said little on my personal social media regarding these events. My relative silence could be interpreted as indifference, but that is not true. I am trying to practice the discipline of being quick to listen…

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Distancing is NOT My Strong Suit

Distancing is NOT My Strong Suit

The 30- year marker has now officially passed. I have now been serving as a law enforcement chaplain for over three decades. And, I have been teaching new chaplains for approximately 16 years. What do you say to new chaplains regarding the delivery of death notifications, or the proper response to a someone who has experienced the unexpected death of a loved one? I have always stressed the need for exceptional nonverbal communication. Active listening is imperative. And, you have…

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Fulfilling Your Vow of Love

Fulfilling Your Vow of Love

In 1972, we were sitting in the lunchroom at Wind Point Elementary School exchanging cans of snack pack pudding and discussing the Green Bay Packers. You notice I said “cans” of pudding. Plastic containers were still in the research and development stage at that point in our lives. In 1972, we were carefree. We were mischievous. We were not interested in academics, but we appreciated the social aspects of school. We kept things hidden in our lockers that would have…

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When Did They Become My Nurses?

When Did They Become My Nurses?

I arrived in the parking lot adjacent to the emergency room at the hospital at 6:20 this morning.  I had been asked by hospital administrators to share a word of encouragement with patients and staff alike at shift change this morning.  As I made my way to the ER entrance through the misty fog, I noticed one of my ER nurses heading toward her car.  Her shift had just ended.   She looked exhausted. I could tell it had been a…

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When Your Heart Hurts for Your Hometown

When Your Heart Hurts for Your Hometown

When it comes to hometowns, I have dual citizenship.  I was born in Atlanta, spent a short time in Overland Park, Kansas, and that was followed by 3 years in Chicagoland.  When I was 7 years old, my dad’s work took our family to Racine, Wisconsin.  Racine became my first hometown.  When I was 13 years old, the family moved to Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock became my second hometown. I feel a strong affinity to both cities. I have to make…

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And…How are You Doing? A Tribute to Investigator Sonny Frisbie

And…How are You Doing? A Tribute to Investigator Sonny Frisbie

I was buying groceries the last time I talked to Sonny Frisbie.  I had just put a bottle of Heinz Ketchup in my cart, and there he was coming down the aisle.  We had a really nice chat.  I don’t recall what we discussed, but I do remember his signature question.  He looked me straight in the eye and asked: “And how are you doing?”  I never had an encounter with Sonny when he didn’t pause long enough to ask…

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The Ugliest Ornament Becomes a Symbol of Hope

The Ugliest Ornament Becomes a Symbol of Hope

Thanksgiving arrives this week.  It is officially appropriate to put the Christmas tree up now.  During this time period families everywhere are making their way up to the attic to drag the tree down, or crawling over the lawnmower to get to the boxes in the garage labeled “Christmas Decorations.”  It’s nothing short of an adventure.   Every family has special decorations to adorn their tree.  There is the crocheted ornament that Aunt Emma made.  And there are Christmas tree…

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They are NOT Invited to the Table of Thanksgiving

They are NOT Invited to the Table of Thanksgiving

The holidays will soon be upon us.  People are making their way to their attics to get the Christmas tree down.  I plan to order a smoked turkey at my favorite meat market this week for Thanksgiving.  I bought a plane ticket a few days ago for our firstborn to fly home. Jan asked me at dinner tonight to make a stop at a remote store  out in the boondocks to pick up a Christmas gift for her dad.  It…

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Judging the Man Wearing the Starched Khakis…

Judging the Man Wearing the Starched Khakis…

When I was completing my master’s degree in 1986, I worked part-time for a family business that had offered several services.  Renting Penske moving trucks was part of my job.  And that’s where I met Bob… After a cross-country move from Virginia, Bob turned in his  moving truck one afternoon.  I found Bob to be sort of an amusing kind of fellow.  His khakis were heavily starched, and his penny loafers carefully shined.  As he drove off that afternoon, I…

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