Excessive Police Force: The Tragic Death of Michael Brown

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An unarmed, African-American, Michael Brown robs a convenience store, stealing cigars.  The unarmed Brown and his unarmed, African- American friend Dorian Johnson are walking down the middle of the street when white Police Officer Darren Wilson drove up and ordered them to move to the sidewalk. Brown and Wilson struggled through the window of the police vehicle until Wilson’s gun was fired, either intentionally or as a result of the struggle. Brown and Johnson then fled in different directions, with Wilson in pursuit of Brown. Wilson shot Brown six times, killing him. Witness reports differ as to whether and when Brown had his hands raised, and whether he was moving toward Wilson, when the final shots were fired.  Regardless, Michael Brown was an unarmed, African-American male.  Was it necessary to shoot him?  Was it necessary to kill him?  Could Police Office Darren Wilson have waited for backup?  Was there imminent danger and threat of life?  Could Police Office Darren Wilson have apprehended Michael Brown with the use of a taser instead of killing a young African-American male?  Does the United States have a problem with excessive use of deadly police force?  Does the United States have a more serious problem with racism than either President Obama and others are willing to admit?

A Call To Christians To Complicate the Lives of Others – Be Sneaky

She looks harmless, friendly even.  She could pass for a librarian.  How many librarians have you met who seemed untrustworthy?

A lady.  Retired.  Smiles.  Sings in the church choir.  Not the type you would suspect would complicate your life, but she’s a Christian and Christians have a way of complicating the lives of others.  Seems to be in their job description.

The best ones complicate the lives of others subtly, gently.  They don’t knock people over with verbiage.  They don’t save you and the world in thirty seconds or even with a sermon.  They are wiser, sneakier, kinder, aware of their own need for daily conversions.

Cathy is a gardening buddy of my wife.

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Cathy Croy

When I got married I didn’t know it was going to be “for better, for  worse gardening.”  Getting my hands in the soil of the good earth is not quite the spiritual experience for me that it is for Cathy and Vicky, my beloved, but I do it because I love my wife of 35 years.  (I didn’t say I did  it without complaining.)

So how did a Christian, in this case, Cathy, complicate my life? It was done with a simple suggestion, a book recommendation.  “You’ve got to get Native Plants of the Southeast:  A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 460 Species for the Garden by Larry Mellichamp!”

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Long story short:  book ordered, “This is the best book ever!” and now – and now half of my life is going to be spent re-doing the three, THAT’s THREE, gardens in our yard.  Thanks Cathy.  Cathy, how can I thank you enough?  The birds and animals are going to love the native plants and I’m going to LOVE being a garden boy.  Thanks Cathy.  Maybe I should say it one more time.  Muy gracias, Cathy.

Has your life ever been complicated, in a good way, by a Christian?

How might you, as a Christian complicate the lives of others?

Be sneaky!