Monday, September 26, 2016

End of Watch: Friday, April 26, 2013

As you may know, I recently returned from a trip to Israel. One of those that we were honored to have with us, on the "Yellow Bus", in our tour group was Julie Candelari. She had set a goal to come to Israel and be a blessing to the people there and some of those that serve there too. And she made it!

While setting the goal and getting over there was an achievement in itself, her trip was extra special to our tour because she had to do it alone after losing her husband in 2013.

Officer Larry Candelari was struck and killed after stopping to assist at a traffic accident while off duty and coming home from a hunting trip. His 23 years with his department and his prior service in the Marine Corps shows him to be a great example to us all. And he lost his life serving when he didn't have to be.

And that last sentence is not entirely true. I don't know any cops who would pass by an injury accident and not help when they were able to render aid. And Larry Candelari was a great example of our finest.

Please take a look at his ODMP page and remember Larry and his wife:

Larry Candelari
End of Watch: Friday, April 26, 2013 

Rest now, Brother. We'll take it from here!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The nerdiest place I've ever been

So, here I sit at Minecon 2016. Minecon is a convention for Minecraft players. To get here, 12,000 people sat at their computers at the precise moment to scramble to get their tickets, which sold out in a few minutes.

Ay this convention, you are filled with inspiration to sit at your computer and, not only play minecraft, but virtually watch others to sit and play minecraft as they stream their games live and on YouTube videos.

You can sit in panels and learn how to fritter away every spare moment on mods, packs, twitch, punching trees, making caves and all the other things that go along with Minecraft.

What, I wondered, is the big appeal? I have been known to sit for hours and play games, but, after a while, you realize you need to do something useful. So why do people spend so much time on stuff like this.

I think a big part of the appeal lies again in the desire for community. When you are playing minecraft, you are not only playing a game, but you are working with others to make worlds happen, share the work you've done and connect with others while learning about stuff that's fun for all of you. It's an electronic virtual front porch where you can connect with others.

So, probably most of you already knew this, but it was a discovery for me. What is your front porch? Maybe you even have a real one!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Where were you......

Do you remember where you were when you first heard?

I am not the hero of this story, by any means.

15 years and one week ago, terrorists brought down the twin towers and attacked the Pentagon.
Do you remember where you were when you heard about it?

To spur your memory, I will tell a little about what I remember.

We lived in California at the time, and I had spent a leisurely morning at home. We tried not to have much going by way of media in the morning and no one called me that day to let me know about the events, so I was kind of taking it easy until I had to go into my office for the day. As soon as I got in the car, I popped on the radio and heard the news.

Immediately, I pulled back into the drive and told Diane what I had just heard. We then checked into it more and watched and listened as things unfolded throughout the day.

At the time, my assignment in life was working on getting a new Church going in West Sacramento (If you are in the area, go check them out: ). My warrior training and instincts made me wanna join the army or something, but I had work to do there.

We were privileged to get a chance to lead and host the first community service to help people honor the fallen and pray for the nation a few days after. a couple of hundred people from the community, including the mayor, came and joined us. It was quite and honor for our new Church that had just moved into a new facility.

9/11 definitely changed the directory of our nation and my family as well. I think it definitely helped inform my decision to take a job as a first responder after I moved to Tucson. Through this, I have had the chance to serve this community as a Deputy and serve the department and other fisrst responders as a Chaplain.

It also played a role in our oldest son's (Tom) decision to serve and led to his deployments to Afghanistan and Kuwait.

I definitely remember 9/11 and understand how it has affected us. How bout you? Do you remember where you were? How has it changed things for you?

Lace up your boots brothers and sisters and keep your heads down!

Here's some fun photos of Me....:)
In the desert with the Border Crime Unit, Hanging out with Sean Hannity and the Sheriff as a Chaplain.
And one of our son in the Sandbox.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Intense Community....Do you know what you are missing?

With a few of the boys on Ben Yehuda Street the night after Shabbat.

This week, I just returned from a trip to Israel with a group that was traveling with the intent of touring the land, growing in our own faith and, more specifically, to meet and encourage leaders of several congregations and organizations the live and work in Israel.

It wasn't a particularly long trip and I am really glad to be back home with the Diane, Emily, Abigail and Ethan. But, I already find myself missing the friends I made on this journey and the opportunities we had to laugh, learn and serve together in the Land of Israel.

Here is part of the reason why:

On this trip we experienced community in a way that is a little more intense (in a good way...:)than what I usually experience. We were emotionally, spiritually and physically invested in working together to help make sure everyone in our group had the best experience they could, grew closer to God, learned interesting and edifying things and were able to be a blessing to the leaders we came to connect with and to each other.

Working on these things together brought to light the scripture passage found in Psalm 133. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!"

Interestingly enough, this is also the passage that is sung when ascending up to Jerusalem (Hine Ma Tov Una Ma Naim, Shevet achim gam yachad).

I attend Church and small group, where we experience some of this community. At work, we strive for common goals and get a taste of this. In the fighting class, we get some of it, as we work together to help each other improve. But this trip was an intense example of how good and pleasant an intense taste of community can be.

Thanks brothers and sisters, I miss you and our work together already!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

And I'm away

Here's an older photo of the Gavish siblings. Every year I send our Christmas letter to them. Apparently they haven't ever gotten Christmas letters, as the whole family makes a point of reading it together every year.

Today I am doing some of the final prep for a trip to Israel tomorrow. The point is to try and connect with leaders of ministries and non-profits there, and to tour around a bit.

After meeting with some leaders there, I'd like nothing more than to give you a chance to help encourage and inspire them to continue doing the great work they are doing. I'll be sure to let you know how you can be a part of what they are doing to make our world better. And, if you want to go meet some international ministry leaders overseas, let me know. I can help make that connection too.

In the meantime, remember me in your thoughts and prayers as I travel.

And maybe I will get to see the Gavish's, so they too can appear in the next Christmas letter.