Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Helping Clients Helped Me

We all want to know we have done something that is important for other people. I think back on 22 years of representing people who applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and I believe I helped many clients. I know that many clients helped me. This is very satisfying.

I helped people by helping them accomplish all they could to assure proof of entitlement to their SSDI benefits and prompt payment. Many thanked me,  which was rare in my previous career as a lawyer.

People I represented helped me by allowing me to be a part of their lives where I could offer them both professional help and encouragement at an extremely stressful time. At times people expressed spiritual needs, and I tried to encourage them from a Christian's perspective.

For many years I was being paid to do something that I came to love. I am thankful.


Also, I am thankful to a good friend for recommending I consider getting into this field. At the time he was a successful lawyer. Now he is a retired former chief judge of a state court of appeals. And still a good friend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Approaching the Stream ...

As we approached the stream I saw a man in a wheelchair lofting a long line across the water with his flyrod, and the fly dropping lightly in the shady water underneath the overhanging bushes. “You see him out here all the time”, my father said, “He’s 85 years old!”

Decades of good and bad fishing have passed through my life since we came upon that scene of natural beauty. It means more to me now than it did then.

Author Ray Bergman, writing of fishing in a rainstorm reminisces, “The catching of fish seems insignificant in these memories of the play of the elements. I don’t remember much about it, but as I see it now, I believe that fishing was simply an excuse to get out in the open, to breathe air that came to me directly over open spaces, to face nature when she bared her soul.“*

I am revived by rural sounds, wild foliage, and the music of a flowing clear stream. I hope they revive you.

* Trout, by Ray Bergman, Alfred A. Knopf publisher, first published 1938, second edition, November 1952, page 3.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Are We Lawyers Embezzling the Language?

“Within the cyclonic shouting match that currently passes for our national dialogue, and from every point across the political spectrum, the people with whom we simply disagree we describe as “traitors;” policies we simply find unwise we call “Ponzi schemes;” actions we simply dislike we brand as “criminal.” This amped-up misuse of language constitutes a form of larceny—the hijacking of words from their intended course of calmly rational exchange, off-course into a gale of emotional invective.

“You won’t be a part of that for the simple reason that you can’t. You’ve been taught here that, as lawyers, you are the custodians of language. No other profession holds language so fully in its care.

“Thus, for you, such antics would be far darker than mere larceny—they’d be embezzlement. And you will not consort with the embezzlers of language—in fact, you’ll denounce them. And every time you do, that will be Tech.”

Monday, May 28, 2018

”Evangelicals” a political faction?

Evangelical Christians are not a component of any political party or political movement. They, we ,  are messengers carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Christ cannot be subordinated to any political belief. We are free - in fact we are commanded - to be good citizens, but we are not free to subscribe the name of Christ to any political party or candidate or political movement. Jesus is has not, to my knowledge, subscribed His to any political party, candidate, or political movement. Neither will I.

Friday, March 9, 2018

As celebration of Jesus’ earthly life, death, and resurrection comes near, a prayer ...

“Almighty God, You know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
From Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Daily Prayer Guide Lent and Holy Week 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Are we willing to name Christ in public?

Is it possible to speak about Billy Graham without speaking the name of Jesus, who was always on the evangelist’s lips? On C-Span I heard only two leaders bring the name of Jesus Christ into the memorial for Mr. Graham in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda: President Donald Trump and Senate Chaplain Barry Black. Other leaders spoke movingly about Mr. Graham and his character as a servant of God without naming the Savior on whom he focused his life. Thank you Mr. President and thank you Chaplain Black for publicly speaking the name of Jesus Christ when honoring one of His most faithful servants.

Monday, February 26, 2018

God is FOR us and our school children

We are appalled by the multiplying attacks on schoolchildren in America. Yet attempts to conceive defenses generate political battles as soon as they are uttered, diverting us from using the tools at hand to increase safety.

My prayer is for the administrators and teachers of our schools to be blessed with eyes to see and hands to employ the defenses available to them already, today, to add to the safety of our students. And this prayer includes the students themselves, not just that they be safe but that they actively enter into the process of emplacing measures and adopting disciplines that minimize their vulnerability to harm.

On top of that, I pray that all will settle down, even in the present unsafe environment, and gain the education that their communities desperately need in order to build the better life that we all crave.

Can this really work? May students, teachers, and all Americans ponder what David, then a prisoner of the Philistines, declared in Psalm 56 long ago: “...this I know, that God is for me.”

Are we willing to seek the wisdom of David’s God? If we do, is He likely to do less for us than He did for David who not only escaped his enemies but became King of Israel?

I hope we will seek David’s God and learn whether He will show us the defenses at hand, guide us in employing them, and divert us to useful work and away from political haggling.