29 Dec: Wishing you a clear 2020

Taking in news, listening to talk-shows, absorbing social media posts and even talking to neighbors can sometimes be toxic. Just think about any day’s news. The President tweets out against someone then tweeters light up; pro or con. Churches launch grievances against police. Politicians launch ugly volleys against those of the other party and turn on each other with fury. Contention sells. There will always be a market for things that make us mad. Sometimes we just need to reset. The new year is a good time for that. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4, versus 4-9. In the NIV it reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace…

22 Dec: The Lamb in the Manger

Years ago, I was driving down a Colorado road with a nativity scene coming up on my left. As I passed by, I looked over and was stunned as never before by such a scene. It wasn’t the nativity set itself that moved me, but on a hill behind it was a cross. We often think of Christ as the lamb at Easter, the Great Shepherd the rest of the year and a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes at Christmas. That baby was the Lamb, come to be slaughtered. Exodus 12:5-6 described the lamb sacrifice; “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year … Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it…” Then Isaiah 53:7 prophesied of Christ’s role; “…He was led as a lamb to the slaughter…” Finally, in John 1:29 John the Baptist officially introduced Christ to the world; “Look!…

15 Dec: Pity, Empathy and Sincerity

In a high-impact court case I know well, good people have experienced significant blunders from both law-enforcement and legal professionals. I once told the distraught mother that judges, lawyers and police can’t get personal. Not getting personal however, is no reason to not be sincere. You can’t be sincere without being empathetic. That is where authorities often become agents of a disconnected system. I recently watched “Into Thin Air” based on the Eric Wilson murder in Colorado in July of 1978. Though names (the movie name of the victim was “Brian Walker”) and other details were altered some, the film accurately depicts the victim family’s agony, navigating jurisdictional and systematic complexities that lacked empathetic sincerity. Authorities involved in that case cared, but few took it sincerely. Sincerity was too much work. The movie is a remarkable story of a victim’s family diligence for justice. Even after the movie was made…