Image or Identity?

Image or Identity?

Today I’m excited to have a guest blogger, my friend Sheri Snyder who works as a para-chaplain for Pacific Youth Correctional Ministry. Sheri goes into juvenile detention in order to share the word of God with incarcerated youth. A great ministry and very tough mission field. What images come to mind when I mention drug addicts, gang bangers, prostitutes, thieves, liars, and felons?  And yet these are real people; children, in fact, serving time “behind-the-walls” of youth detention facilities across America.  Consider your life if this is how others saw …

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Bad Cop/Good Cop

Bad Cop/Good Cop

If you live in the Southern California area and someone mentions “police brutality and/or police corruption,” you can probably think of two or three high profile cases of one or the other right off the top of your head. When cops go bad, especially if they go bad on camera, the story goes viral fast. The amount of press coverage a police brutality case or a police corruption case gets can make an average person think it’s widespread and out of control. It’s not, no matter how sensational news headlines …

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Doing the Crime and Doing the Time

Doing the Crime and Doing the Time

Back in the seventies there was a TV show called Baretta. The tag line was something like, “you do the crime, got to do the time.” Very straight forward until the individual doing the crime is a minor. If someone 12, 13, or 14 commits a serious crime, should they be locked up for the greatest portion of the rest of their lives? When I worked as a juvenile detective, I’ll confess there were times I thought that the old adage “children should be seen and not heard” should be …

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The Character of Extreme Swimmers

The Character of Extreme Swimmers

I love to swim. I’m not a very strong swimmer, but I love it. I did a couple of mini triathlons when I was younger and tried to train hard so the swimming portion wouldn’t hurt me, but it never helped. One year I did a triathlon in the police games, the mile swim was in a lake, and I was last out of the water. Ouch. I still love to plod along either in a pool or in the ocean and I have a great respect for those hardy …

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Thoughts on Aging

Since I take care of my elderly parents, there are times when I dwell on the subject of aging. Now, it’s not an option to age, everyone does it, but how can I do it so I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be. Today in the gym aging was on my mind and as I looked around me I couldn’t help but notice that while it’s true that everyone ages, it seems to me that not everyone gets old. There is this tall guy I see often …

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Of Plots and Plotters

Of Plots and Plotters

Where do you get ideas for your novels? Since I write suspense fiction, and in every book I have written the main character is a police officer, I often get ideas for novels from true crime reports, and in one or two cases, from crimes I saw while I worked in uniform. Sounds morbid, but since I believe there is hope in every situation, sometimes the more tragic the crime, the more hopeful the story becomes in my mind. There’s a web page I check regularly that is a compilation …

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Cell Phone and Rude

Were people as rude before cell phones? I just got back from a trip to the doctor with my mom. We arrived a little early, but with only one elevator working out of three, we had a long wait for the elevator to take us to the top  floor. Once we stepped onto the only working car, it was packed. By the time we’d traveled three quarters of the way, everyone but my mom and I got off and a woman, talking on a cell phone, stepped in. But she …

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Bum Glue

I just finished reading a book on writing, by the mystery writer Elizabeth George, called Write Away. I found it informative and inspiring. George is obviously a disciplined and thorough writer, of course I knew that from reading her books. Her recurring character is Scotland Yard DCI Lynley, and the crime series is set in Great Britain. The books are always long, involved and totally engrossing stories. One great nugget I took away from her writing book is the idea of “bum glue.” I’m sure you can guess the meaning …

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Pray for Police officers

I happened across a news story about a woman suing a police department in Arkansas for wrongful death. I read the article and it turns out that last year her husband and son shot and killed two Arkansas police officers during a routine traffic stop. With a little more research, I found chilling video from the patrol cars dash cam that shows the fourteen-year-old son blasting away with an AK-47 toward the patrol car. Later, when cornered by more police, the pair would not surrender and were killed in a …

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Trials, God’s Strength

For the last four and a half years I have been helping take care of my aging parents. The last two and a half of those years have been full time. This means my house sits empty and I stay in a room in their house. My dad is 94 and suffers from dementia. My mom is 87 and most of the time she is independent and healthy, she still drives, but lately she has been in and out the hospital for various complaints. I’ll tell you, this is the …

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