Why I use “they” when writing

Why I use “they” when writing

The other day, I got a paper back in which I had been marked down for using the word “they” to speak of “Soldier” in the singular voice.

Here’s why – I am intentional about using gender neutral language when speaking about gender neutral things. If I am actually talking about a man – I’ll use masculine. If I’m talking about a female – I’ll use feminine.

However, when writing about commanders…

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Google Glass in Law Enforcement

Google Glass in Law Enforcement

When I worked in the prison, I was initially put off by the ever present camera. They are everywhere in a prison, always on, always recording.

At first, I thought about them, found myself looking distractedly in the corner, and fascinated when in the control room looking at the live feeds.

Which is where I was the first time I witnessed and incident. I watched the inmate’s actions, the…

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First Day


She was shaking her head, “no.” I really wanted her to say yes, so badly did I want her to say “yes.” But, she didn’t. She didn’t need me to stay. No matter how much I wanted to sit with her, hold her hand, keep her 6 forever, it was not going to happen. She was shaking her head and then said out loud, “no.”

It was time for me to go. It was time for her to grow.

This morning has been coming for…

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Favorite cartoon ever…

Favorite cartoon ever…


Ok, *one* of my favorites…doubts-14

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It’s been a tough week…

It’s been a tough week…

Ok. Take a deep breath.

Breath in. Breath out. Think about good things.

Really, I meant it, breath out. Let it go…

Some really bad things happened this week. Really bad.

A general was laid to rest after giving his life in service to his country.

A Missouri town is in terrible upheaval.

A family is without their son.

Robin Williams. THE Robin Williams. The “Carpe Diem”said in a horse whisper, is…

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Courage. http://wp.me/s2GIRP-courage

I met Chaplain Hodge at Ft. Leavenworth last year. I have appreciated getting to know her and her journey. Yesterday, she wote for militarypartners.org

It saddens me to know that in this age of such great progress towards equality, many LGBT persons still feel they cannot be completely themselves without being judged by people in the communities in which they live. In many places, there is…

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Oh the “System”

Oh the “System”

The System. 

Oh, the system. 

It gets blamed for failure. Gets marginalized for successes. Has to feel the weight of all the anger when someone, somewhere, points to it and says, “we could, but the system won’t let us…”

Or words to that effect. 

Here’s the thing: We are the system

Put bluntly, I am the system, you are the system. The system changes when we change. We make it change. We make it…

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It’s about time

It’s about time

It’s me.
I know it.
I’m aware of it.
This is emphatically my opinion and I speak only for myself.
It’s because I am married to a commissioned minister, a serving pastor. And hey, I’ve become sensitive to it. This last week at our morning chapel, a male chaplain preached to “men of God” and completely ignored the presence of the only female chaplain in the room. We have a recruiting problem. We…

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Purple Pizza – the skit we did for my CHOBC 2005 class ball

For my old ensemble comrades, I pulled out the classic “Purple Pizza” in my Chaplain Officer Leadership Course military ball in order to make fun of my leadership.

Principle Living

Jane Bryant Quinn is an American journalist who is known as a commenter on personal finance. She once said, “Where you stand should not depend on where you sit.” In other words, one should put all their financial eggs in one basket. I like that but her thought also struck me from the perspective of principled-centered living. When we live by principles – those ideas that have stood the test of…

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Elbert Hubbard once said, “An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of discretion.” The idea being that…

Elbert Hubbard once said, “An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of discretion.

The idea being that if loyalty is a part of your professional life, discretion naturally follows. Loyalty, one of our Army values, is often challenged but not in the way we usually think. There isn’t usually some creepy dude out there with a Russian accent offering us lunch money for the nations secrets – actually,…

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Confusing hair metaphors

So, my daughter asked me this morning over breakfast:

“Dad, I’m wondering, if God loves you because of all of the hair on your head, how does that work if you are bald? I have a bald friend, (names him) and how does God love him if he has no hair?”

A fair question except my brain is still recovering from  my morning run so I stare at my coffee and she interprets that as needing more information.

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Hope (part two - from prison to the Tomb and beyond)

Hope (part two – from prison to the Tomb and beyond)

Speaking of the afore mentioned hope

There was no such hope for the two women that approached the tomb that Easter morning. (Matthew 28:1-10) There was no comprehension that anything was going to happen outside of their own suffering. They had hope that Jesus was going to be some kind of king, that Jesus would bring some real change to the world they lived in. But that didn’t happen. After all…

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Hope http://wp.me/s2GIRP-hope

This last week, during counseling, one of my inmates made a profound observation about his life,

 “I know I’m going to make it, but right now really sucks.”

What a resilient statement. It’s a life-giving, hopeful statement. It’s based in reality. It is a recognition that he is full of sorrow and discouraged but, based on his past journeys through similar terrain, he knows that he’ll make it.


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How “Open and Affirming” has impacted my ministry thus far

How “Open and Affirming” has impacted my ministry thus far

So, it’s not been quite a month since I posted my little sign on my door.

My emphasis on inclusivity has had an interesting, though anecdotal, impact on my pastoral care. I’ve noticed that those coming to see me have “gotten to the point” faster than in the past.

I don’t know if other chaplains or counselors have experienced this phenomena but it’s been true of my pastoral care wherever I’ve…

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