Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas


This is Christmas-Nothing else matters.

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Job Security

In an economy that is still heading into a deeper recession it is good to know that my clientele is still out there needing our life style management aid programs. There are two main ones...the right cuff and the left cuff.

Psalm 74:22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long.


video

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tokyoflash Shinshoku-my new watch


I was surfing the Internet the other day and I started wondering if there was a way to tell time that was not an analog dial or digital number readout. Well I found it in the Tokyoflash Shinshoku. It uses a row of red LED's for hours, yellow LED's for minutes and green LED's for 15 minutes segments. It took me a little while to learn to read it quickly but in the end it warmed the Japanese Techno geek part of my heart. I got it direct from Japan and my wife made me promise that if I ever get another item from Japan I will have to go to the post office to sign the customs, deleration forms, because she will not ever do it again (took 45 min...waiting in line, postal employees finding right forms, finding the package itself and arguing about what procedures had to followed).

While I have worn the watch around off duty I so far have not quite got the gumption to wear it on duty...


A brief explanation form their site. Link: http://www.tokyoflash.com/en/watches/tokyoflash/shinshoku/ Industrially designed to make a truly individual statement, this unique time piece has become one of the most popular designs to emerge from the Tokyoflash design studio. Shinshoku's solid, continuous stainless steel band wraps comfortably around your wrist and features a matrix of punched out holes with twenty-nine super bright LEDs beneath the surface which illuminate to present the time. A single touch of the upper button animates the LEDs which then cascade across the band to present the time. Pressing the lower button skips this animation and presents the time immediately. Twelve red LEDs indicate the hour, three green LEDs indicate 15, 30 and 45 minutes past the hour and fourteen yellow LEDs indicate single minutes. This unique time telling method makes it easy to see the approximate time quickly, whether it's quarter past, half past or quarter to the hour whilst also telling the precise time.
video

"Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. " Colossians 1:29

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. " James 1:17

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We beat Texas A and M!!! (Blog spot will not allow use of the "and" sign)


Griffin leads Baylor to 41-21 win over Texas A and M on November 15, 2008

Since I do not get to say this much about my Alma Mater/Baylor Bears football team I will use this post to celebrate this, an unfortunate all to rare, football victory. In the history of these two schools stating in 1908 the record is slightly in the Aggies favor at 54-28-8. The last time we beat the Aggies was in 2004, and that was when Baylor defeated its first ranked opponent since 1998, #16 ranked Texas A and M, by a score of 35-34 in overtime on a two-point conversion.

The following is the write up of the game from ESPN's web stie.

Link: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=283200239

WACO, Texas -- With a couple of long passes and some nifty pitches, Robert Griffin helped lead Baylor to a rare victory over Texas A&M that ensured the turnover-plagued Aggies a losing season.

Griffin threw touchdown passes of 31 and 55 yards and Jacoby Jones ran for two scores after taking late pitches from Griffin in Baylor's 41-21 victory Saturday. It was only the second time the Bears won in their last 23 meetings against Texas A&M.

The Aggies (4-7, 2-5 Big 12) came in with slim bowl hopes in their first season under coach Mike Sherman, but had five turnovers. That included two interceptions by linebacker Joe Pawelek, the second coming in the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Jay Finley added a 12-yard TD run for Baylor (4-7, 2-5), which played its home finale for first-year coach Art Briles.

Griffin, an 18-year-old freshman, didn't start the season opener at home in late August. But he entered that game before halftime and has started ever since. The dual-threat quarterback has accounted for a school-record 25 touchdowns (14 passing, 11 rushing).

Jones had a clear path to the end zone along the right sideline for a 12-yard TD that made it 13-0 after Griffin, while shedding a tackler, pitched the ball. Then on a fourth-and-1 late in the third quarter, Jones scored on an 18-yard run when Griffin got rid of the ball just before being slammed to the ground by a defender.

Griffin was 13-of-23 for 241 yards and added 56 yards on 12 rushes. Finley carried 23 times for 116 yards.

The Aggies' Jerrod Johnson was 19-of-30 for 244 yards with four interceptions and a late touchdown. He had only four passes picked off in his first eight games before throwing two in A&M's 66-28 loss to Oklahoma last week.

Jorvorskie Lane scored on a pair of 1-yard runs, increasing his A&M school records to 49 career rushing TDs and 50 overall.

Baylor led 6-0 after Ben Parks had field goals of 42 and 28 yards, the first on the Bears' opening drive of the game and the second after Leon Freeman recovered a fumble caused when Johnson was tackled from behind by Zac Scotton.

Dwain Crawford's interception set up the drive that led to Jones' first TD and included Griffin's 49-yard pass to Ernest Smith to convert a third-and-14.

The Aggies finally scored when Lane plunged in over the left side after Johnson's 51-yard pass to Mike Goodson, who made a leaping, stretching catch between three defenders.

Woo Hoo!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pieces of the puzzle


Carol and I have been pretty active socially tying to reinvigorate our friendships that got put on hold a bit because of my masters program. It struck me recently all the different vocations of our friends. There was a: cardio-tech, mamogramist, supervisor of a work crew for a country forest preserve system, elementary school teacher, police officer, full time student, private investigator, quality control supervisor of a major drug company, a watch salesman, a coffee bean sales rep, two retirees, a Police Chief, a nurse, a Colon-Rectal surgeon and an esthetician.

I tend to get caught up in a Christian law enforcement prospective and forget that God has his people in all places and in all professions. We are all working for his glory and to further a small part of his Holy plan. I find this comforting. In a time in America where we find ourselves confronted by change, economic hardship and threats to our safety from both domestic and foreign sources, it is nice to know that we are surrounded by a Christian "safety net" that covers all places and all situations and not simply ones that deal with just law enforcement circumstances.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.

Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Romans 15:17
Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am a Dufus


Maybe one day I can tell the story once it is declassified...anyway it involves our President elect, more than a couple of millions of dollars and embarrassing myself in front of him and a bunch of secrete service...and the best part is that none of these elements are associated in anyway with each other, think three cars crashing at a three way intersection from three separate directions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The things people do





I am continually amazed by the means in which people find to make money (legally) and what they do for hobbies. Case in point. I have a friend that I met at church who is a Police Officer for another suburban township. We were talking over the cell (I suddenly have a lot of down travel time) when we starting talking about my desire to one day own a 1978-1980 firebird/trans am, the Smokey and the Bandit, style. He then told me that his hobby was talking 1980's pontiac trans am's and making them into KITT (The car from the television show Night Rider). He then sent me these photographs of one that he had put together. It really looks like the real/fake tv show car. I included the pictures he sent me. His final plan is to make the television in the consul really receive feeds from cameras placed around the car. It is a excellent example of so nerdy that its cool, or at least I think its cool...so what does that make me? Anyway right now I am trying to think of a joint project with him that would include a cheap old classic car jazzed up to look like a famous movie/tv car.

1 Corinthians 3:10
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election Judge


I have been following this presidential election closely and probably a little too passionately, so to back up my political oration to friends, family, strangers and my dog, I became a Republican Election Judge. The term in office is for two years. I felt I do not have a right to criticize the process unless I participated in the the process, so...here I am.

I took a three hour orientation and certification course and now I can and will serve on election day.

I took away one insight from the class that was not on the course syllabus. In Illinois there is a record number of registered voters (1.7 million) and they are forecasting a 70%-80% voter turnout. If this prediction comes to pass this presidential election will produce the most votes ever cast in any election in Illinois' history. The usual voter turn out is a little above 30%.

So all the acrimony and accusations have led to an incredible American voter participation in the election process, which is a good thing. It makes true of our forefathers wish of a bloodless revolution every four years.

Probably the single biggest benefit anything associated with this election is a renewed interest in the processes of governance of our country.

SO VOTE!

Romans 13
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have Graduated


I have finally graduated...when I started it seemed like it would take forever and now that I am looking back, it seems like time just flew by. Prospective is everything.

The ceremony was at the Symphony Center in Chicago last Sunday. So I am now the proud owner of a Masters in Police Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. I am currently attempting to discern what God would have me do with this degree since I will remain full time in law enforcement.

Right now I am in the application process for adjunct professorship at a couple of Universities and Junior Colleges. I hope this is the right path, if not I am confident He will show me the way.

Psalm 17:4-6

4 As for the deeds of men—
by the word of your lips
I have kept myself
from the ways of the violent.

5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.

6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me;
give ear to me and hear my prayer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christian Rock


I have been very very busy at work and have fallen off my target of two posts a week. However now that my master's program has concluded I should have the time to stay on target.

Carol and I have begun attending Christian concerts on a fairly regular bases in the last year or so because of our discovery of: Jeremy Camp, Mercy Me and the News Boys. Carol and I and a bunch of our couple friends have attended a number of concerts by these three bands. However at the last Christian music festival I was talking to the other husbands, that while these three artists were our priority in selecting which concerts to attend, it would be nice to have a heavy metal/hard rock alternative. Well I think we have may have found one.

Brian Welch was a founding member of Korn and their lead guitarist, when he became addicted to crystal meth, hit bottom and found the Lord. I have listened to his album and I like it and we may going to the next local place he plays. I am approaching his recent works with caution because salvation is the greatest step but nevertheless the first step on a long road. Brian's got the "Matthew 11:28" tattooed to his neck and "Jesus" on his knuckles but like all of us he is a work in progress that I hope provides a lasting positive influence on Christian heavy metal but then again may falter.

Here is the article in the Chicago Tribune where I found out about his conversation.

Ex-Korn guitarist Welch navigates his new path
Louis R. Carlozo, Tribune reporter
October 6, 2008
In the heavy rock band Korn, Brian "Head" Welch provided the guitar attack for a collective whose lyrics ranked among the raunchiest around. Then Welch found God, became a Christian and left the top-selling act. In Chicago to promote his debut solo album "Save Me From Myself" (Driven Music), Welch talked about his new path, old bandmates and the trials of not fitting in to any musical camp:

Q Have you shared what's going on in your Christian life with your former Korn band mates?

A They all know what happened to me. One of the other guys in the band actually got saved too; he's just working within the band. But for me it was like, 'I'm out, I've gotta go.' I want to give everything that I am, I want to have that resurrected life. And that's just so good. So they understand where I'm coming from. But I don't really talk to them. I talked to them last summer and we were going to hook up but it didn't really happen. I'm just doing my own thing and they're doing theirs; they wish the best for me and I wish the best for them.

Q How are you tackling the challenge of getting your music exposure? I'm sure it was much easier in Korn than it is now.

A You know if Korn puts out an album, they'll get play on every radio station, the best radio stations. I put out mine and it's a struggle, it's a fight. Some stations are really cool. They're playing it a little bit here on Q101, but some stations are just like, 'No thanks.' Maybe because they know what happened to me and they think maybe 'That's it.'

Q You say you're trying to provide an alternative by making very heavy music, but with a positive message. Tell us about that.

A I was one of those kids who was just not happy in my own skin. I drank and did drugs all the time. You call it fun, but the real reason you do it is that you don't like yourself, and you're just trying to escape, because you want to be happy and feel good. The whole thing about God was my eyes were opened, and I want to do anything I can with my power and my gifts to open as many eyes as I can. My message is, 'Don't listen to me, go try talking to God yourself and trying to change your life, and you're going to believe.'

Q Have you listened to much Christian music?

A It just seems like the Christian radio stations, it's all one type of music. I guess it's made for praise and worship. But it seems like there's this one group of bands that they play over and over, and I just wish they'd expand more—especially the Christian media too.

Q It seems you're misunderstood in the Christian world.

A I've got a new video out on my website, and it's really raw. It's about drugs and flesh, and there are girls in it who are sensual with each other, and they're playing with this pink powder that's supposed to symbolize drugs. I've gotten comments on my site that are saying, 'How could you show that stuff?.' When I saw my video, I was like that too: 'Can I do this?' I'm a Christian but I got over it. I like to be shocking, not for the sake of it, but to show people what's going on. I'm not called to be a Sunday school teacher. I want to bring a message and use the media as much as I can, and I don't want to sugarcoat it. The cheese has to go.

Link to his Web site (cut n paste): http://www.brianheadwelch.net
His book: http://www.amazon.com/Save-Me-Myself-Found-Kicked/dp/0061251844

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Corpus Clock & Chronophage


I heard about this clock and it has a relevance for Christians. The Bible is consistently telling us the time is near and do not assume that you have many hours remaining. I believe the inventor of this clock understands that, even to the point of having it vary its minute cycle so that they are non-standard and then corrected every five minutes.

I put the video link on the right it is narrated by the inventor himself-worth seeing.

Matthew 24:42-44

42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

1 Corinthians 7:29

What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;

About the Clock

Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, England – A $1.8 million "time eater" – a clock that has no hands and no digital numbers, and speeds up and slows down – was unveiled at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge on Friday.

At the top: A demonic grasshopper tops the gold-plated clock, named the Chronophage. The beast – with its long needle teeth and barbed tail – rocks back and forth, finally sticking its talons in notches at the top of the clock to move it forward. The grasshopper's jaws snap shut at 59 seconds devouring time, said John Taylor, who designed the clock and donated it to the library.

A little history: Inside the clock is a mechanical device that helps regulate movement. Called the grasshopper escapement, it was invented by John Harrison in 1725.

No cuckoo: The clock relies on the clanking of a chain that falls into a coffin, which then loudly bangs closed to mark the hours.

Loved or feared: At the ceremony, famed scientist Stephen Hawking predicted the creature atop the clock would become "a much-loved, and possibly feared, addition to Cambridge's cityscape."


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lt. Col Dave Grossman


I had the good fortune to hear a lecature by Lt. Col Dave Grossman. It brought me back to the following excerpt that I had received via e-mail forwarding and I did not know who the author was but now I know. This struck both Carol and I as "truth".

Lt. Col. Grossman on Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

"One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: 'Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident...Then there are the wolves,' the old war veteran said, 'and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.' Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial...Then there are sheepdogs,' he went on, 'and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.'

...If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed...

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog...

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, 'Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes.' The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, 'Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.' When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

While there is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, he does have one real advantage -- only one. He is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population."


Lt. Col. David Grossman from The Bulletproof Mind

He also signed my book and added this verse at the end

Ecclesiastes 3:3

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Biblicial advice-perfection in life


I was reading to Ross and Rebecca right before their bedtimes. We are currently reading one chapter of Proverbs a night. I was struck by Proverbs 5. I was reminded once again that the Bible is not only a message for salvation but a guide for life. A Biblical life is a life that reduces negative consequences and maximizes benefits.

A section of Chapter 5

Proverbs 5
Avoid Immoral Women
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment,
and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.[a]
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
Never stray from what I am about to say:
8 Stay away from her!
Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor
and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10 Strangers will consume your wealth,
and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11 In the end you will groan in anguish
when disease consumes your body.


This was a time when they did not have a microbe based disease model. Yet Solomon, inspired by God, made the connection between promiscuity and venereal disease. If everyone had followed this advice think what suffering would have been avoided and yet when abstinence is discussed it is ridiculed.

Here is a list of diseases that would have been avoided if the Proverbs 5 had been followed:
Bacterial
Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi)
Donovanosis (Granuloma inguinale or Calymmatobacterium granulomatis)
Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) (Chlamydia trachomatis serotypes L1, L2, L3. See Chlamydia)
Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) (Ureaplasma urealyticum or Mycoplasma hominis)
Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA - Sexually transmissible.[6]
Syphilis (Treponema pallidum)
Fungal
Jock Itch - Sexually transmissible.
Yeast Infection
Viral
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) through skin to skin contact, saliva, not only sexually.
Hepatitis B.
(Note: Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are transmitted via the fæcal-oral route
Herpes simplex
Herpes simplex virus implicated in Alzheimer's disease.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS)
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Certain strains of HPV cause genital warts
Certain strains of HPV cause dysplasias, which can lead to cervical cancer, penis cancer, anal cancer, oral cancer, head and neck cancer.
Molluscum (MC)
Mononucleosis is spread through saliva, can occur during sex.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV8)
The cause of Kaposi's sarcoma
Parasites
Pubic lice, colloquially known as "crabs" (Phthirius pubis)
Scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei)
Protozoal
Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis)

Using the Bible as your guide to life is the only guide to life you need. Biblical advice-perfection in life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Covert Christianity



In the public sector there seems to be an extreme sensitivity to overt displays of Christ belief. I do not mean obtrusive Christianity, where an officer (I was told this story from another Dept) would bring his Bible to roll call and read it out loud whenever the meeting veered into an area he considered debauched (His career was necessarily short), but rather small personal displays of faith.

I have taken to wearing covert Christian items, that while in plain view do not trigger anti-Christian sentiment but still profess my faith. I do not really know if these things really benefit me or anyone else or, more importantly, advance the King's Kingdom, but they make me feel better. Frankly speaking in a team environment sensitivity needs to be on a forefront of everyone's mind, if I am doing what I am supposed to they already know what I believe and what I wear really should not have any bearing, so there is little use in lugging around a ten pound cross. Here are the links of a couple of items I have purchased for this purpose.

http://store2.bandfarm.com/jeremy-camp/productsByCat/?catID=1

http://www.solidrockjewelry.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=220

http://www.solidrockjewelry.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=223

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why am I suffering...Where is God?


A comment was left that on the section the God of Providence (01/05/2008) that said:

Do you trust God with all your heart, even though you don't know how He's going to get you through something?

This struck a cord with me because it is something that I have struggled with many, many times. There is my response:

Sorry to get back to you so late, but I had a call out Friday that went all night...etc...Etc...

I have struggled with this area and one of the things that helped me was to look at the lives of the seminal figures of the Bible.

Abraham (Abram)

Was forced to leave his family (father/brothers/except for Lot) take his barren wife and go to a land that was foreign to him. Famine hits, flees to Egypt passes his wife off as his sister and only with God’s interdiction does she not become sexually involved with the Pharaohs. Saves Lot by butchering his hostage takers and gets inpatient waiting for Sara to become with child so he impregnates Hagar. Sara gets pregnant. He splits with Lot, God sees if he is willing to sacrifice his son, gets the land his is promised, is tormented by the child and that chid's children he has with Hagar and dies.

Moses

Is spared from the order of the Pharaoh to kill all first born male children when mother drops him in a river and he is taken into the Pharaoh's household. Grows up kills slave master who is whipping the Hebrew slaves, returns the next day and the very Hebrews that he aided turn on him, he flees into the desert. Sees burning bush told to see the Pharaoh and he tells God that he can not because he stutters etc. Is forced to go to the Pharaoh and is not successful till the firstborn of Egypt’s sons are killed. Flees into the desert, parts the red sea, speaks with God gets the 10 commandants while his own people have abandoned him and turned from God. Hits a rock, watches time and time again while his people fall away and are punished by God, is denied entrance into the Promised Land and dies.

Elijah

Pops up tells King Ahab of God’s coming judgment because of Ahab’s wife Jezebel, among other things and is forced to flee for his life. Fed meat by Ravens, drinks out of a brook and complains. Is saved by a widow, Comes back challenges the Baal priests, wins, has them killed and is forced to flee the wrath of Jezebel. Fights with her son Ahaziah and gets taken into the air on a whirlwind. Comes back to speak to Jesus and disappears.

John the Baptist

Son from an elderly and barren mother. Forced to flee into the desert, wears a hair coat, can not drink and eats honey and locusts. Starts his ministry as a precursor to the coming of the Lord. Meets and acknowledges Jesus as the Christ. Gets thrown in prison all the time and finally get his head cut off for his troubles.

Paul(Saul)

Held the cloaks of the citizens stoning Steven. Had arrest warrants and pulled Christians out of their homes to be imprisoned and killed. Struck down by God on the road to Damascus, blinded and sent to the very people he tried to kill and who hated him. Converted and sent the rest of his life telling the good news of Jesus the Christ, being thrown into prison, traveling incessantly, finding his way to Rome to die.

What you see is a pattern that consists of three things: First they are all sent into situations by God that not only do they not understand why are doing these things but further they do not want to go and in most cases involves great personal risk. Second, they suffer for doing the acts that God commanded them to do and it should be noted it is great suffering. Lastly all sinned and fell from Gods plan, but all stopped, repented were punished and then finished by standing in the place that God originally commanded them to be in.

As I see it, we are made to suffer. When life is the darkest it is because of one of two things: we are in Gods plan or we have fled from Gods edicts. But the main factor is that we suffer. I have been plagued by the incorrect idea that the lack of pain in my life is a sign that I am on the right path of God. When reality that very well may be the sign that I am not doing what I am supposed to do.

God is always there. Job suffered by doing exactly what God wanted him to do. When we suffer because of the evil we have done God is there waiting for us to repent. But repenting does not mean an end to suffering but rather it comes two fold; correction for what we have done and suffering for carrying the cross of Christ.

Look at Jesus, sinless and yet he suffered horrible torture and death in order to save us from Hell. He was perfectly in God’s will and yet he was hated, mocked and killed. Why should our lives be anything different?

You ask: Do you trust God with all your heart, even though you don't know how He's going to get you through something?

I answer: Yes because I already know the ending. I will be with Christ in Heaven and his enemies will be cast into the pit. The rest is just trying to endure and focus on keeping the next step on the straight and narrow path.

It’s like dumper cars. You want to get from one side of the track to the other while everyone else is trying to dump you out of the way. Sometimes they succeed; sometimes I make an error in steering but as long as I keep my goal the finish line I will eventually get there. But if I focus on every hit or every mistake and spin around trying to find the meaning behind their strike on my car or seek justice with each driver, I soon loose sight of the end and run out of time.

Suffering for Christ is glorious. You justice will come, it was promised. God is always there and our singular reward is also the greatest reward. Heaven.

One of my favorite verses: Acts 5: 41-42

41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My last class finished


At 1800hrs today I took my last test for my last class and I have completed my Masters in Police Psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

It has been a long two years but it feels strange now that it is over. This program was in God's plan for me because it came in a very unexpected way and at a time in my career when it was on life-support (or really patrol support, I was not in danger of loosing my job but I was in danger of having a patrol only career).

I can look back at my life and readily identify the different life changing decisions and crossroads, but rarely have I had the privilege of seeing one that was before me. And well... here one is...

Because I never really permitted myself to consider the fact that I was close to finishing my degree, I never thought about what I would do with it once I had achieved it. I will be shown the right path in time if; I pray, watch, consult the Bible and search for the answer.

The one thing I do know is that if you told me two years ago I would now have a masters degree and be in a great, new, position with my department, I would have had you committed for nonlinear thinking. I wonder what two years from now will look like? The ride with Christ is never boring and he certainly keeps you guessing.

Psalm 34
The LORD, a Provider and Deliverer.
A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.


August 9, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just a list


I was thinking the other day, about how I have been moved by many songs but few albums in their entirity produced the same reaction. Here is a list of Albums that I just went WOW and then played the cr!p out of them. In no particular order....

Green Day-Dookie
The Who-Whose Next
Moody Blues-Days of future past, In search of the lost cord, A Question of balance
David Bowie-Diamond Dogs
AC/DC-Back in Black
Guns n Roses- Appetite for destruction
Super Tramp: Breakfast in America
Asia: Astra, Asia
Crash Test Dummies: God Shuffled his Feet
Enigma: MCMXC a.d.
Henry Mancini-The pink panther
R.E.M.-Green
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
William Shatner: Has Been
Final Fantasy X: Sound track

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lake Nipissing - Ontario Canada



My wife's grandparents bought a lake house on Lake Nipissing some forty years ago. It became a summer vacation for the grandparent's grand kids (Some 25+) of which my wife was one. She has been trying to talk me into going for a number of years and for the first time this year I was able to go. So we loaded the two kids in the minivan and drove the 12 hours up to the cabin.

There is an outhouse and you bathe in the lake. Your cellular telephone probably will not work (my two did not), the best television channel is blurry, and the radio will only get two stations.

This was not only a vacation away from work and a chance to spend some quality time with the family but a vacation from all the distractions of modern life. We swam, we fished, we jumped off of rocks into the water, played board games, water skied, tubed, canoed and slapped mosquitoes.

We all need rest and a time to refocus on what is really important; the love for our Lord and the love for our family. Police Officers tend to get locked on the job and quickly discard all the other more important tasks of family and faith. A good break/rest/vacation should allow a re-prioritization of life in general. Our family is not there so we can work but rather we work so that we can partake of family.

Genesis 2:2
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Leviticus 23:39
" 'So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest

Molson XXX


While we were vacationing in Ontario Canada, I went to the "Beer Store" (actual name) and a fell into a scene right out of Strange Brew (they're at the beer store trying to get a free beer because of a mouse in the bottle).

Anyway I discovered my new favorite beer. Molson XXX. It is an extra-strong larger beer 7.3% that I have never found in the US.

It obviously has a kick but it is a unique combination of smooth with a bit of a sweet after taste.

I recommend it.

Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ignite Chicago











Carol and I went with two other couples to the Ignite Chicago Concert Festival at Alexian Field in Schaumburg Illinois.

We arrived at 2:30pm and left after 10:30pm. We were on wet muddy grass, the heat was well over 92 degrees and we were in the full sun for all but the last hour and a half. But it was all well worth it. When Christ is invoked by his followers the power of his spirit is almost tangible.

Matthew 18:20 (Jesus said) For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

What a wonderful recharging session. I can not help but be up lifted when I see 10,000+ professed Christian listening to musicians that are dedicated to the Lord to such a degree that they are passing up all the riches a secular musical career would bring, for the purpose to praise and evangelize for Jesus. And well...the bands also ROCKED!

We as Christian sometimes feel like we are all alone trying to push the water back into the sea but in reality God is sufficient and all powerful. Seeing all of us with the faith and dedication to profess our love and faith for Christ, make it a little easier walking through our fallen world. We are not alone, God is with us, but also so our are brothers and sisters, people for us to pick up and to be picked up by.

The schedule was:
Newsboys (excellent)
Mercy Me (Always excellent)
David Crowder Band
Hawk Nelson
Superchick
Todd Agnew
Red
John Reuben
JAEL

Willie Nelson




Carol and I went with two other couples to a Ravinia Festival (their language) on June 20th and saw Willie Nelson and James Hunter.

Wow, words fail me, what a great concert. We set up a huge blanket on the grass, ate blue cheese potato salad, drank free Goose Island Beer and listened to Willie and company.

Willie does not have a long touring life ahead of him so if he comes to your town quickly go see him! I got to see Johnny Cash in concert at the House of Blues in Chicago right before his health declined and every time I tell someone that, they always say they wish they had been there.

So go before he goes!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Time to take stock



Please read the entry right before this one first.

One of the worst ways to die on duty (well there is really never a good way) is by your own gun. I can think of only one other officer related death that is worse then having your gun taken away from you then used on you, it is the following (AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A police officer died early Sunday after she got out of her patrol car to chase a man on foot and was run over by her partner. Officer Amy Donovan was on patrol late Saturday when she and her partner, officer Adrian Valdovino, saw someone engaged in "suspicious activity," said Police Chief Stan Knee. Donovan jumped from the car to question the man, but he fled on foot. Valdovino put the car in reverse to try to stop the man and the car struck Donovan, the chief said.)

The primary reason for the stigma of getting killed with your own gun is that you brought and paid for the weapon that was used to kill you and further the murderer was able to take advantage of you and kill you. So on top of everything else you lost the physical altercation along with loosing your life. We spent hours in police academies training in firearms retention drills to prevent this from happening.

The death of this officer should be a wake up call for all of us. This is the time to make something positive out of the death of a good man.

Ask yourself these questions: 1. am I in good to excellent physical shape? If not get started getting back into shape. You must be ready for the fight because you never know when and where it will happen. 2. do I have the best equipment Right here right now? There is never a good reason to have a level one holster. Spend the money buy the best, it will save your life. Police officers are notoriously cheap, remember your life is priceless. In this officer shooting if he had a level 2 or 3 holster he probably would be alive. 3. How is my Officer safety and environmental awareness? Are you allowing the suspect access to your gun side? Are you going to calls before your backup gets there? Are you ready to combat any and all threats to your life? I bet if we asked this officer a week before he was killed what he thought his chances of getting disarmed and killed by a fat middle aged crazed woman, he probably would say that would be nearly impossible. Remember with firearms everyone is equal.

It is easy and I have fallen into this trap also, to become complacent when you have been there and done that...you have fought against the best and won...etc. It is hard to stay sharp and not find contempt for the job once a number of years go by with very little experience in true threats to your life.

BUT YOU HAVE TO PLAN FOR THE ONE IN A MILLION. IF IT NEVER COMES THEN YOU WIN, IF IT COMES THEN YOU ARE READY TO FIGHT BACK. IF YOU DON'T PLAN AND IT NEVER COMES YOU WIN, BUT IF IT FINALLY COMES AND YOU DON'T PLAN FOR IT THEN YOU DIE.

Be ready, be safe, be alive...you serve the public so that you can go home to your family.

Proverbs 20:18
Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Another fallen officer...May he rest in peace.


A Chicago officer was shot and killed last week. Here is the article about him in the Chicago Tribune. I want to point out that the family would put up with his killer till she caused them too much trouble and then kick her to the streets so that should would become our (the police) problem. I wonder how the officer's future would be different if his killer's family had properly executed their responsibilities rather then dumping them on all of us.

Slain officer a beat cop to the core
By Angela Rozas and Robert Mitchum | Chicago Tribune reporters
11:26 PM CDT, July 2, 2008

When Chicago Police Officer Richard Francis got roughed up by a drunk a few weeks ago, injuring his back, his fellow officers told him to take it easy and ride out the rest of his year or two on medical leave before retiring.

But soon, Francis, a 27-year veteran of the department known to many as "Buzz," was back at the Belmont District roll call. He told his brothers in blue that they would have to push him out. When he did finally leave, he would do so quietly. They would never know he retired—he would simply not be there one day.

Early Wednesday morning, while on a seemingly routine assignment on patrol alone, Francis was shot and killed in a struggle with a woman who had caused a disturbance with a CTA bus passenger less than a block from his police station, police said.

The woman, whom sources say sometimes slept at the police station and was often erratic and incoherent, shot him in the head with his service weapon before she was shot several times by responding officers at about 2 a.m. Francis died about an hour later in Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The woman, 44, remained in critical condition Wednesday night.
It's a tragic loss for his family. It's a terrible loss for the Chicago Police Department," Police Supt. Jody Weis said. "It's a stark reminder of what the dangers this department and its officers face everyday."

Colleagues say Francis, 60, was the quintessential Chicago street cop, the officer you met if you ran a red light in Lakeview, got rowdy at a Roscoe Village bar, or got arrested and won a personal tour of the back of his squadrol.

Francis walked with an identifiable gait, the product of a bad knee from an unruly arrest he made years ago. But the leg never got him down. Nothing much did.

He loved his job manning "the wagon" on an overnight shift populated by officers half his age. "Life is beautiful," he'd tell anyone who would listen, even when it wasn't. He had a lot of loves: his wife and two stepchildren, his basset hounds and several motorcycles.

"Buzz was stubborn," said Norman Knutson, his most recent partner of eight years. "He drove his partners crazy. He was a character, and everybody loved him. He stuck on the job because of the camaraderie with the guys."

"He was just one of those guys who came to work every day, didn't complain, didn't whine and did a good job and went home to his family," said Belmont Area Deputy Chief Bruce Rottner. "Those are the guys who never get in the papers, never get accolades, never get awards, but those are the guys that are the backbone of the police department."

Despite his seniority, Francis chose the overnight shift because he liked the quiet pace and the time it gave him during the day to help care for his adult daughter, Bianca, who has special needs.

A longtime bachelor, he married his wife, Debbie, 10 years ago and took to family life, recalled Tom Casey, a friend who knew Francis since 1st grade. Francis paid college tuition for his wife's other daughter, Amanda, and spent most of his time off with family, colleagues said.

Francis joined the force in his 30s after graduating from St. Gregory's High School and doing a tour during the Vietman War in the Navy's elite Seals program. After the Navy, he worked as a building engineer at the Union League Club downtown.

Francis was inspired to become an officer by Casey's father, who was a Chicago police officer and a mentor to Francis after his own father died when he was a boy, Casey said. He worked patrol in the Monroe and Near North Districts before joining the Belmont District eight years ago, earning 35 honorable mentions and a commendation from the department.

He loved country music, to the chagrin of his partners, and happily sang along to oldies rock 'n' roll. He teased his partners, chattering on the police radio by adding "Nam" to every other word, a reference to his Vietnam experience, Knutson said.

Even though his primary job was to transport arrestees, his love of the law wouldn't let him abide any lawbreaking, and he would pull over anyone he saw disobeying traffic laws, Knutson said.

"He was a stickler for traffic laws," Knutson recalled. "He didn't really want to write people up, but he just wanted them to know what they were doing wrong. He hated criminals, and he hated traffic violators, but if you were in dire need, he went above and beyond."

Francis had a sense of humor about his work, too, and would often pick up trash left in his wagon from a previous shift and send it in office mail to the officers who worked the previous shift.

"He'd say just clean it out," recalled Belmont District Officer Dennis Mushol, who at one time worked the wagon before Francis. "Everybody loved him. Everybody is just numb here."

Francis recently transferred back to a regular beat car and was working alone near Belmont and Western Avenues just feet away from his police station when he saw a CTA driver waving him down, police said.

When he stopped, the driver and a passenger told him the woman was causing trouble. He radioed for backup and got out of his vehicle. The woman, 4-foot-11 and an estimated 290 pounds, approached him. As he tried to usher her away, she became irate and struggled with him, grabbing his holstered gun, police said. She shot Francis as other officers arrived and rushed forward, they said.

She may have fired at those police officers as well, sources said, before they fired several shots, wounding her. No charges were filed against her by Wednesday night.

The woman, who according to court documents has no criminal record, was familiar to officers at the Belmont District, sleeping occasionally in the women's bathroom or in chairs in the district, police sources said. A current address for the woman matched an East Garfield Park shelter where staff did not remember the woman but said that Chicago detectives had come by Wednesday, showing photographs.

Some police officers said privately that they believed Francis should not have been working the beat alone that night. A departmental agreement dating to the 1960s suggests that officers should not work in cars alone after dark for safety reasons.

But the policy isn't binding and allows room for officers to be placed alone in cars unless they complained. Few do, officers said. As a result, many officers work patrol alone, especially in lower-crime neighborhoods.

Knutson said he rode with Francis' body from the hospital to the morgue, trying to honor the years the two spent together working their own squadrol.

"I didn't want to go . . . but how many times did he and I take people to the morgue?" he said. "He was my partner. I had to go with him."

Tribune reporters Dan P. Blake, Monique Garcia, Karl Stampfl, Mary Owen and David Heinzmann contributed to this report.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Funeral


Today, I attended the wake of the wife of a good friend and co-worker from my department. They are both believers, one has her belief now confirmed and one is having his and his two children's' faith tested.

I saw the usual emotions and actions that go along with a wake/funeral. Consoling, wondering, advice giving, sorrow, loss, regret...but I did see one difference at this funeral verses the many others that I have seen.

The difference was hope.

I saw hope on the face of the grieving husband. I saw hope on the face of the grieving daughter. I saw hope on the face of the grieving son.

Hope found in the faith of the promise made by Jesus that while she may now be dead and lost to them, they will see her again.

Such a simple formula, understanding that we sin and we can never stop sinning, understanding that Jesus is the son of God and perfect, accepting Jesus into your heart and giving up all your sin to him so that it can be wiped clean on the cross and then allow the Holy Spirit to come in. 30 seconds maybe...?

And that allows these three people access to his promises...that death is not the final answer...life is to be found at the end of the road not oblivion.

The loss is still felt, the questions about cancer and fairness will remain unanswered, fear of the future and the new journey alone will all remain. But the small bright light in the far distance in the midst of the darkness is hope.


Luke 23:43
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

2 Timothy 1:10
but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

John 6:47
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."