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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Do You Really Want to Make Friends? Just Sit on the Back Row

Do You Really Want to Make Friends? Just Sit on the Back Row

When I go out to a restaurant with my law enforcement friends, they always sit with their back to the wall at the restaurant.  I completely understand the need to adopt such a habit for security reasons.  I too sit at the back of eating establishments, and in other public places as well.   My reasons are twofold.  I too am security conscious.  (I have worked in the field too long.)  But, I also want to be open to meeting people……

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I am Waiting for My Patience to Return…

I am Waiting for My Patience to Return…

Dealing with people can be difficult.  Imagine that?  Several weeks ago, a friend shared an interchange she had with a person who has the potential to be somewhat of a challenge… In this case, he had told her something that just did not make sense. The facts were not adding up.  I asked her a simple question. “Did you confront the inconsistencies in his story?”  And her response?  She said:  “I can’t speak to him again until my patience returns.”…

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