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

Sunday, April 27, 2008

God is Sufficient

I have recently completed the 2-week DEA sponsored undercover illicit drug training. The last speaker (right before the certification test) was Jack Harris (Ret-Tucson Police Department). Jack's presentation was a simple but important one. His main point was: change what you can control and choose to not worry about what you can not control.

This is an area that I have struggled with my entire career. It was very comforting knowing I am not the only one that strives to overcome this issue. I have caught myself many times getting anger over decisions that negatively affect me and my career, that I had no way to control. This can lead to bitterness and as a point of fact in every department there are a group of older officers that hate everything and everybody. They are the ones that lost this fight. When you strive hard to change the world and get beaten down in the process bitterness is often the result.

This is a Biblical principle also. God calls upon us to worry and strive to have our next small step to be as close to the step Jesus would have taken as we possibly can and not to worry about the 20th step. The long term plans are for God to ponder if we just make the best step each time we will arrive at the destination that God intended. Railing at what we can not control will only lead to frustration leading to anger then leading to bitterness and bitterness is deadly, not only for us but for all who care about us.

Matthew 6:25-27

Do Not Worry
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bobby Smith

I am currently in a two week training course out of state and we were addressed by Dr Bobby Smith an ex-Louisiana State Trooper. In Law Enforcement our divorce rate is approximately 80% and our suicide rate is over three times the national average. Giving the profession of Law Enforcement a first in both these categories as it compares to all other legitimate professions. I have heard him speak before and he is someone that everyone associated in law enforcement should hear immediately.

Bobby Smith has dedicated his life to teaching those of us in this profession on the dangers and the solutions to these two great problems. What follows is from his web site http://www.visionsofcourage.com/


Bobby Smith had been a law enforcement officer in Louisiana for nine years, when on the night of March 14, 1986, at point blank range, he was shot in the face & blinded by an armed, violent drug offender. He recalls lying face down on the center lane of the highway, soaked in blood, and thinking, "Will this be the day that I die?" But Bobby chose to not give up; he chose not to die that day; he chose to live.

Life from that day on, however, would not be the same. The days, weeks, and even years following the trauma were filled with many fears about his future, daily struggles adjusting to blindness, and financial hardships. The losses were staggering: eyesight, career, self-confidence, independence, and marriage. Then tragically, in 1997, Bobby’s daughter, Kim, was killed at 22 years old in an automobile accident.

The shooting, the blindness, the loss of his beloved daughter, all made Bobby realize that what he wanted to do was help others who were also going through traumatic times. He did not want them to suffer alone. He wanted to bring them hope.

Today, Bobby continues to do just that. He is the author of two books, Visions of Courage, the Bobby Smith Story and his newest one, The Will to Survive, published in January 2005. Each year he averages 120 speaking engagements, impacting audiences’ lives with his story. In fact, since 1995 it has been his privilege to speak to over a million people worldwide.

Ironically, the losses in Bobby’s life have been his catalyst, driving him to discover the true vision for his life. But his life is not defined by the losses that he has endured and triumphed over. No, his defining moment, and ours too, comes every morning when we rise, face the challenges of the day, and decide that today we choose to live.

Visions Of Courage, Inc.

James 1:2-4,12
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Green River Killer

The above is an article about Sheriff Dave Reichert who aided in the investigation and the capture of the Green River Mass Murder. When the criminal aspects were completed as it pertained to Gary Ridgeway (see info link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Ridgway)

he witnessed to him of Christ's love and forgiveness for even a man such as him.

I do not know if I would have done this if I had been in similar circumstances. I am clearly a weaker man than Sheriff Reichert. I hope to grow to be one, one day.

Well worth the read.

Religious Bigotry

I made a point when I started this blog that I would attempt to share my original opinions and thoughts because I kept seeing all the "forwarded idea" e-mails and not my friends and families personal thoughts. However two articles really struck me recently and I have included them as an exception because frankly one expresses the thought better than I would be able and the other well... look at the most recent post.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The evolution of religious bigotry
Jonah Goldberg
April 3, 2008

I just watched "Fitna," a 17-minute film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. Released on the Internet last week, "Fitna" juxtaposes verses from the Quran with images from the world of jihad. Heads cut off, bodies blown apart, gays executed, toddlers taught to denounce Jews as "apes and pigs," protesters holding up signs reading "God bless Hitler" and "Freedom go to Hell"—these are among the powerful images from "Fitna," Arabic for "strife" or "ordeal."

Predictably, various Muslim governments have condemned the film. Half the Jordanian parliament voted to sever ties with Netherlands. Egypt's grand imam threatened "severe" consequences if the Dutch didn't ban the film.

Meanwhile, European and UN leaders are going through the usual theatrical hand-wringing, heaping anger on Wilders for sowing "hatred."
During a 1991 visit to Istanbul, a buddy and I found ourselves in a small restaurant, drinking, dancing and singing with a bunch of middle-class Turkish businessmen, mostly shop owners. It was a hilariously joyful evening, even though they spoke little English, and we spoke considerably less Turkish.

At the end of the night, after imbibing unquantifiable quantities of raki, an ouzolike Turkish liqueur, one of the men gave me a worn-out business card. On the back, he'd scribbled an image. It was little more than a curlicue, but he seemed intent on showing it to me (and nobody else). It was, I realized, a Jesus fish. It was an eye-opening moment for me, though obviously trivial compared with the experiences of others. Here in this cosmopolitan and self-styled European city, this fellow felt the need to surreptitiously clue me in that he was a Christian just like me (or so he thought).

Traditionally, the fish pictogram conjures the miracle of the loaves and fishes as well as the Greek word "IXOYE", which means fish and also is an acronym for "Jesus Christ God's Son, Savior." Christians persecuted by the Romans used to draw the Jesus fish in the dirt as a way to tip off fellow Christians that they weren't alone.

In America, these fish appear mostly on cars. Recently, however, it seems Jesus fish have become outnumbered by Darwin fish. No doubt you've seen these too. The fish is "updated" with little feet on the bottom, and IXOYE or "Jesus" is replaced with either "Darwin" or "Evolve."

I find Darwin fish offensive. First, there's the smugness. The undeniable message: Those Jesus fish people are less evolved, less sophisticated than we Darwin fishers.

The hypocrisy is even more glaring. Darwin fish are often stuck next to bumper stickers promoting tolerance or admonishing that "hate is not a family value." But the whole point of the Darwin fish is intolerance; similar mockery of a cherished symbol would rightly be condemned as bigoted if aimed at blacks or women or, yes, Muslims.

As Christopher Caldwell once observed in The Weekly Standard, Darwin fish flout the agreed-on etiquette of identity politics. "Namely: It's acceptable to assert identity and abhorrent to attack it. A plaque with 'Shalom' written inside a Star of David would hardly attract notice; a plaque with 'Usury' written inside the same symbol would be an outrage."

But it's the false bravado of the Darwin fish that grates the most. Like so much other Christian-baiting in American popular culture, sporting your Darwin fish is a way to speak truth to power on the cheap, to show courage without consequence.

Whatever the faults of "Fitna," it ain't no Darwin fish. Wilders' film could easily get him killed.

It picks up the work of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was killed in 2004 by a jihadi for criticizing Islam.

"Fitna" is provocative, but it has good reason to provoke. A cancer of violence, bigotry and cruelty is metastasizing within the Islamic world. It's fine for Muslim moderates to say they aren't part of the cancer; and that some have, in response to the film, is a positive sign. But more often, diagnosing or even observing this cancer—in film, book or cartoon—is dubbed "intolerant," while calls for violence, censorship and even murder are treated as understandable, if regrettable, expressions of anger. It's not that secular progressives support Muslim religious fanatics, it's that they reserve their passion and scorn for religious Christians who are neither fanatical nor violent. The Darwin fish ostensibly symbolizes the superiority of progressive-minded science over backward-looking faith. I think this is a false juxtaposition, but I would have a lot more respect for the folks who believe it if they aimed their brave contempt for religion at those who might behead them for it.

Me? I keep thinking about Jesus fish.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008