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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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Critiquing Brandt Jean: What are the Consequences?

Critiquing Brandt Jean: What are the Consequences?

In my role as a law enforcement chaplain, I have been serving victims of unspeakable crimes for 30 years.  I am that person who shows up on a person’s doorstep with a law-enforcement  officer to break the news that will change a person’s life forever.  And, I am also the trained professional who offers support to victims in the aftermath of criminal and traumatic events.   Therefore, I view the victim’s impact statements made by 18-year old Brandt Jean in…

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Elementary School Teachers are NOT Human!

Elementary School Teachers are NOT Human!

When I was an elementary school student, I soon concluded that my teachers were anything but human.  They were teachers and not humans.  Imagine how shocked I was to bump into a teacher in the grocery store.  Teachers don’t go to the grocery store!  Last week it I received solid confirmation that teachers are NOT human… Friday evening, I had a once in a lifetime experience. I attended the funeral visitation for our beloved elementary school principal, George Ginther.  (And…

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Leave Your Mouth at Home

Leave Your Mouth at Home

I don’t characteristically wear pink ties at funeral services.  I realize there is nothing inherently wrong with wearing pink for such an occasion, but I tend to lean toward the darker colors.  The most recent service I officiated at was much different.  Last Saturday I was privileged to reflect on the life of little 2-year-old Anna.  Pink was her favorite color… How could I not wear a pink tie? Over a span of 32 years I have only officiated at…

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Solving Homelessness and Immigration Issues from the Comfort of My Man Cave

Solving Homelessness and Immigration Issues from the Comfort of My Man Cave

Last week I was called out by police officers to serve the needs of a young woman who had run out of gas.  That doesn’t sound like a chaplain call out!  In this case, the person was homeless…The resources she had at her disposal were in another county, so we filled her car with gas and took care of a few other necessities.  The officer I was with went way above the call of duty to help by sharing a…

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But…I am Not Confrontational!

But…I am Not Confrontational!

After my sermon this morning, a man visiting our services approached me and said this: “I don’t want to give you the big head, but your content and delivery were both flawless this morning.”  He was gracious and genuine, so it was a nice word of encouragement!  (I know it was not flawless by any stretch of the imagination.)  Here is what that man did not know…When my family moved to Granbury in 2004, the church conducted some kind of…

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Kid Calls are the Hardest…

Kid Calls are the Hardest…

It was a hot day in Wichita Falls in July of 1992.   Late in the afternoon the police department called me to the emergency room at Wichita General Hospital.   A young woman in her late 20’s rode in the back of the ambulance, as medics performed CPR on her husband.   When I arrived at the hospital, they had just called the code.  He was deceased.  I went with a nurse to the family conference room that was smaller than some…

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