just [juhst] adjective
1. guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness: We hope to be just in our understanding of such difficult situations.
2. done or made according to principle; equitable; proper: a just reply.
3. based on right; rightful; lawful: a just claim.
4. in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct: a just analysis.
5. given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward: a just penalty.
1. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
2. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
3. the moral principle determining just conduct.
4. conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
5. the administering of deserved punishment or reward.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2012.
I was born to parents who had a keen sense of justice and they made it their goal to instill that same sense into me from my beginnings. I was made keenly aware that justice always manifests itself upon those who try to do wrong and keep it hidden or get away without punishment… But also is used to reward those deserving of special recognition for life and actions done well. I found out after becoming a Christian that Jesus taught the same idea of punishment to those who were guilty and unrepentant… And also to those who strove to live orderly, peacefully and rightly that they would receive rewards here in some degree and also hereafter. I have observed this principle at work throughout my whole life time. Justice always comes… Punishment and reward, both always come. We may not see it when it does… It may not always come soon enough for us as I illustrated in a previous CHAPLAIN CORNER… But it will come.
Throughout all of my childhood and most of my teen years I lived in the same county in the backwoods of the rolling hills and valleys of the Great Valley of Virginia between the spines of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains. Most of my life was spent in the eastern half of that county, closer to the Blue Ridge, and at different times I lived in the southern and central portions of the east side. From the age of seven until I left the area at eighteen, I lived in a very small rural village nestled in a deep, narrow valley with a river on the west side, a railroad on the east side and a meandering road between the river and railroad. Brushy fields, cultivated fields or pasture land occupied the valley floor on one or both sides of the river and the railroad. Some places were so narrow that there was only room for the river, the road and the railroad… Sometimes the railroad crossed the river and the road and the river flowed between the railroad and the road… In other places the raod was back between the river and the railroad but the river and railroad were on opposite sides. This was a lush and fertile place to raise crops and children, even for poor people like us.
Most adults worked a job away from the village in many kinds of endeavors. The village consisted of ten houses, a post office, a general store, a railroad station (torn down when I was about ten years old), an abandoned church and several farm buildings. All of the structures were within an area of about 200 yards wide and one third of a mile in length. When we moved there, there were two general stores with the post office in one… The one with the post office was soon closed, the store was converted to a house… The post office was moved into a converted chicken house that was moved down into the village so that the people would have easy access. Mail came and was sent out on the two daytime trains that picked up the outgoing mail on the fly without stopping from a track side mail crane and the incoming mail was tossed out in a heavy canvas sack until the mail trains were removed… Then we had a Highway Post Office that brought in and picked up mail… Later that was removed and we were put on a rural mail route.
I lived in a old ramshackle house (wind could blow through cracks in some of it anytime) owned by distant relatives that lived far away in Virginia Beach. It sagged terribly in the middle. It had a tin roof, a porch across the front and two rear porches, one on each rear corner. The front three feet of the house and the front porch was on railroad land. It was next to the lot where my mother grew up in a house that burned… All that was left of that house was a rubble pile in the back, middle of the lot and we used the lot for a garden. Our water was hand drawn from a well with a bucket and chain. Heat was wood in the kitchen and coal in the front room… No heat in any other rooms. No indoor plumbing, no bathroom, no running water, no sinks… We used wash tubs, wash pans, chamber pots and the path to the little house out back. Lighting was from a single fixture in the ceiling… No wall outlets… Other electrical devices, such as lamps, were powered by extension cords from the ceiling light through a screw in plug-in adapter. The house was twenty yards from the railroad track with the hard surfaced road between the two, the general store across the railroad tracks and the river 100 yards away behind the house across a pasture field bordered by a very dense strip of brush, trees and honeysuckle vines. There was another pasture field beside the general store across the tracks that was once an apple orchard (this one was our ball field most of the time.
I was an only child. Four other families had multiple children… Three children were younger than me, three of us were close to the same age, several were older than myself, by two to several years, and several others came to visit and play with us at various times. Sometimes we all did well at getting along with each other… Other times we had disputes and fought. In one family there was a boy several years younger than me, a girl my age and a boy older than me. The younger boy would pick fights with me, I would whip him and the older boy would whip me. One day I came home crying and my dad was home. He wanted to know what the problem was and I told him the scenario of older and younger brothers and me in fights and he gave me a tough piece of advice… “The next time you come home whipped and crying I will whip you again!” Uh-oh, must make a change! I knew from past experience that I never again wanted to be whipped by my dad!
The next time the scenario took place, I whipped the younger boy and as usual the older boy started to make a move on me… I picked up a 12 ounce, heavy glass Pepsi bottle and told him to come on… “If you do, you are going to know you were in a fight!” He stopped and we never fought again… That was where I learned to communicate with my adversaries and advise them what to expect if we got into a physical disagreement… I learned to use those communications well for the rest of my life and in my professional careers.
In my Peace Keeping career I used it in dangerous and threatening situations and the adversaries believed me and did not advance but submitted… They may have talked threats but they did submit. My VSP instructors taught us to say what you mean and mean what you say… Deliver it in a convincing voice and manner!!! I did and it worked well for me all the way through my fifty year career.
Justice… The thing we are striving for in the efforts of peace keeping… Keep the peace… Head off disruptions if possible… Restore peace when it is violated using whatever methods that are legally at your disposal that are demanded by the attitudes and actions of the violators… Always using verbal and physical means of communication to educate the violator what will happen if they do not cease and surrender…
I did not threaten arrest, I gave them a choice… Mercy or justice… Mercy if you calm down and cease unlawful, disruptive activity or Justice if you do not heed my communications… The treatment that you receive will be by your own choice… If their actions and evidence warrant an arrest, I took the necessary actions and secured the violator… If they submit easily, you are ahead… If they do not submit easily then it is their choice… “Surrender and you will not get hurt… Resist and I will use whatever amount of force that is necessary to put you into custody and under control… And I have the right to use any necessary legal force greater than your resistance in order to bring you into custody and submission and restore the peace… The choice is yours!” I have talked down some very hot resisters this way and I have never had to strike nor injure anyone in the process. I have held a few… I have taken some to the ground under my knee and cuffed them… I have received only two small scratches myself in peace keeping in all of these years.
As I was in theological training, before becoming a Chaplain/Law Enforcement Officer here, I learned about justice and rightness from the Bible… From the One whom I now know as my Commander-In-Chief. Definitions and examples follow…
justice (6666 – Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) – tsdaqah tsed-aw-kaw’ [Old Testament Hebrew] from 6663; rightness, subjectively (rectitude – right actions and attitude), objectively (justice – treating people as they cause by their actions), morally (virtue – right living) or figuratively (prosperity – gaining because of right living, right attitude and right judgement):–justice, right (in living, actions, decisions and treatment of others).
(6663) – tsadaq tsaw-dak’ a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) right (in a moral or forensic sense):–cleanse, clear self, (be, do) just(-ice, -ify, -ify self), (be and/or turn to) righteous(-ness).
Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness [rightness] and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Matthew 5:8-13 Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous — possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, [those who live unselfishly by justice and mercy] for they shall see God!
pure – (2513 Strong’s Exh. Concord.) – New Testament Greek -
2513. katharos kath-ar-os’ of uncertain affinity; clean (literally and/or figuratively):–clean, clear, pure [motives and intent].
heart – (2588 Strong’s Exh. Concord.) – New Testament Greek -
kardia kar-dee’-ah prolonged from a primary kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, i.e. (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind). [the seat of the intent, decisions and actions]
9 Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!
10 Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions)
are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
11 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous — with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.
12 Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its [preserving and flavor enhancing] quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. (to be walked on)
I was a Trooper in my own strength, training received and knowledge retained. I had not yet learned that spiritual strength was available… Even if I had known it was available, I would not have known how to get it for myself!!! Between being a Trooper in other places and becoming a Chaplain/Peace Keeper in Virginia Beach, I learned that my childhood training in justice, actions, intent, obedience and right attitude had a spiritual foundation… I had been trying to be a professional and build a career without having the best foundation… I had not yet found the key!!! When I was able to include the spiritual aspect into my living and peace keeping I became a much more effective Peace Keeper than I had been before. As a Trooper I learned that a badge, a gun and law was not the whole answer for me nor for those with whom I had to deal. There had to be something more and I found that something more in a spiritual experience… I met Jesus Christ and His teachings through a friend and met God, my Commander-In-Chief, through Jesus Christ and His teachings. That was the key for me… The next step was learning all the ways to cooperate with it and proper use of it! Jesus called that being a Disciple (student, apprentice)… A student in training. He was a good teacher through the Holy Spirit and the printed Word called the Bible… I soaked it up almost constantly for a long time and it proved it’s usefulness every time I put it to use!
This nation was founded upon certain principles, among them the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness… These principles have certain limitations… They can be legally, individually exercised only so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of anyone else nor violate laws… The underlying major principle supporting these three is Justice. Laws are established in the effort to provide for Justice. Peace Keepers were and are provided to keep it all orderly or restore domestic tranquility when it is not orderly using legally authorized actions and laws to obtain and maintain Peace… Peace Keepers are charged to keep the Peace and are legally empowered to do so, but they are limited in the manner and methods they are allowed to use to accomplish the goals set before them.
Our job as Peace Keepers is to police the people in the area around us where we are. Police in this sense means to keep clean and orderly a society as best we are able… Or, if it is out of order, to restore it to lawful rightness and order… Rightness and order are the presence of peace… Peace is the lack of disruption, agitation or conflict. All Peace Keepers have been doing this long before I came on the scene fifty years ago… I did it as one among all of you for as long as I could… Now I must spend my efforts in supporting you and encouraging you… And I will continue to try and do that for as long as I can live and be active here!
For you who are committed to going into the worst of the fire and conflict as Peace Keepers in Law Enforcement and the Military, I say again THANK YOU for all you have been and all that you have done, are doing and will continue to do… We have lost several Peace Keepers this week that will not be out there with you in law enforcement and the military anymore… One of those was in Law Enforcement Training and did not get out on the field in full duty yet… We had the loss of a very good man and retired Peace Keeper/Coastguard Captain here. I felt a sense of great loss and loneliness when I read the news about him. I knew him for many years and saw him often when I was on active duty. MAY ALL OF YOU BE EVEN GREATER BLESSED… GO HOME SAFELY AT THE END OF YOUR TOUR!… Many of the Law Enforcement losses this week were because of vehicle crashes or traffic. It deeply pains me every time I read any of these reports.
As always… “BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!” ALWAYS be alert, watchful, suspicious and wary. Take the very best care of you as you care for and about others. See to the strength and well being of your spirit as well as all the rest of yourself. Your spirit must be strong for you to be successful. All of this is by your own choice… He has made provision for you but it is up to you to learn it, take it and put it to use for the best results possible.
I am but one voice crying out to you all because of your great value to all of us and each of us… Your value to this nation is too great to be expressed in any amount of words… But I will keep trying to describe portions of it every time I have opportunity!!!
Call or write if I may be of any service… Or if you just want to encourage me… Feedback encourages all who write… It helps to know we are reaching someone who reads the message.
No new word on Donna. She is still ill and staying at her sister’s house.
Donnie is still greatly busy with work.
I am just as busy with trying to catch up on things that had to be neglected for so very long. I am making slow progress. I will get there eventually.
Thank you for the responses, for the care, concern and prayers… Keep it all coming. I enjoy and need all the help and encouragement I can get some days. The old body still trys to complain and stop but we work it all out and make progress… Slow sometimes but still progress!
As it has always been… So it still is!!!
“VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST…
AND THEN GO TO WAR,
WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST…
AND THEN SEEK TO WIN.” Sun tzu
Training and practice are everything!
Without them, the best results are not obtained!
ONLY LIVE PEACE KEEPERS SEE THE VICTORY!!!
THEY SEE IT ONLY BECAUSE OTHERS HAVE MADE THEIR ETERNAL PAYMENTS OF SWEAT, BLOOD, TEARS AND LIFE FOR THAT VICTORY!
WITH THE DEEPEST OF APPRECIATION AND RESPECT…
BE BLESSED (A CONDITION TO BE ENVIED)…
BE SUCCESSFUL… BE SAFE…
[My injunction to be safe means doing all you know to do as you do your job... it means doing the best you can with what you have where you are using all your faculties to get the job done well and with good results conquering evil and keeping or restoring peace... it does not mean to avoid duty and honor... it does not mean to cower or allow anything to hinder you in the process of duty according to rules, law and ethics... it means that if the demand takes your earthly life you destroy as much evil as possible in the process. That is my definition of being safe... doing the best you can and leaving the rest to God or whomever else is responsible... being best employed for the sake and protection of all the things and people that we hold dear.]
I represent, write for… and give the credit to:
God the Father (my Commander-in-Chief),
Jesus Christ the Son (the Eternal Captain of my life) and
the Holy Spirit of God (my Eternal Teacher, Keeper and Guide).
In Christ I live… with Him and for you I serve…
And I rejoice that you are there whether you are Christian or not…
For God, Country and the Peace Keeper…
D. R. (Don) Staton, Chaplain to Peace Keepers,
Surviving Peace Keeper,
Virginia State Police Alumni,
RETIRED Police Officer,
RETIRED Police Instructor,
RETIRED Chaplain Administrator,
Community Service Officer (Traffic Safety),
Virginia Beach Police Dept.
3709 Beacon Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23452-3501
All rights reserved. This Message:
Is for Peace Keepers and their loved ones and it may be forwarded with the complete message intact to individuals and web sites…
May not be duplicated in print nor publications without permission….
May not be used in any manner for personal financial gain nor profit
Except for quoted material attributed to a specific source, all material in CHAPLAIN CORNER is my personal opinion gained from 49 years of working with people in peace keeping and is not to be construed to represent the policies and opinions of any department with whom I have served or am serving.
To subscribe to this free, weekly e-mail message for Peace Keepers,
write to Chaplain D. R. Staton at firstname.lastname@example.org or at
3709 Beacon Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23452-3501.
Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.