The Centurion Law Enforcement
FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study

Here I am send me
The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
Fellow  Sheepdogs  & Supporters:

I hope this week's newsletter finds you all staying the course with a "front sight" focus on Christ our Captain. And speaking of that focus, this week's police- focused Bible study will hopefully challenge and encourage you to do just that: scroll down to " Courageous Integrity."  

Also on the "newsletter" side of things, here's the January 2018 edition of the FCPO Dispatch (the official newsletter of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers -USA).

Here on the local (Metro Denver) front, our second FCPO-Metro Denver/Aurora chapter "cop church" meeting of 2018 takes place this Thursday (1/26) at Calvary Aurora (upstairs in the High School Room) starting at 7 PM. As always, spouses are encouraged to attend with their LEO (and don't forget to invite a colleague).  

Miss a past issue?  I always re-post them on our website, Twitter and Facebook pages, but here again is last week's if you missed it: Bold and Obedient!

A quick FYI: I am in the process of transitioning away from Yahoo to a gmail address that you can start using immediately: thecenturionministry@gmail.com .  

As always, stay safe on the street while being bold in Christ.

MC 




RESOURCES

(1) Dominic Iraldo is a Sergeant with the Whittier (CA) PD and leads the law enforcement ministry at Chino Hills (Pastor and Police Chaplain Jack Hibbs' church). They have an outstanding resource for LEO's that you should really check out: Messages from the Chino Hills Law Enforcement Fellowship.

(2) Today's Bible study is inspired by the film Courageous and the outstanding, highly-recommended resources on the Courageous website.  


PRAYER REQUESTS

(1)  Aurora PD Officer Mike Hawkins and his bride Rachel are asking for prayer.  I share the following (with their permission) from Rachel:  
"I am asking you to please be praying for our family. As you all know, Mike is medically retiring from police work. This is going to be a difficult transition for Mike, as well as the rest of our family.  Please pray the pension board sees the service and sacrifice my husband has made for his country and his community over the last 24 years. Please pray they see the value and honor in his service and award him with more than the typical 50% of his salary for his pension.  Our family still has four young children to raise and starting over to find a new career on what comes out to be less than half of your salary now is a scary consideration." 
There is more, but you get the drift and God knows all the details -- let's pray.  This is the story 9News ran on Mike and his colleagues in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting: The Untold Stories Behind the Aurora Theater Shooting.

(2)  Pray for an officer who is facing discipline for using discretion on the job in keeping with his faith (with the understanding that persecution against Christian officers is continuing to grow). He meets with his chief on Feb. 5th.  

(5) Wounded Arnold (MO) PD Officer Ryan O'Connor, currently here in Colorado for treatment, may be facing another surgery later this week.  God knows the details...please pray. I'm staying in touch with his bride.   

(4) Streamwood (IL) Sgt. Dino Heckermann is seeking prayer for his 16 y.o. niece Sarah who is battleing stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma in her neck and around her heart and lungs. He also asks that we be in prayer for his brother Valentino, wife Aime and the rest of family, including that they will "lean into a saving grace relationship with Jesus Christ."  Let's pray! 

Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?   Email me !  I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).  


UPCOMING EVENTS


(1) I will be speaking at the 3rd Annual Douglas County (CO) Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event on February 25th.  Join us if you can, pray for me if you can't.

(2) The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is hosting their National Law Enforcement Retreat in Texas this year (coming up in March -- before it gets too hot).  Register at the National Law Enforcement Retreat website.

(3) The 2018 Annual Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers Fundraising Dinner will be held in March 28th in Chattannooga. Great cause, great organization.  

(4) In addition to my own Centurion Church Security Seminars (again, contact me for details), here's the updated  Sheepdog Seminars  schedule (outstanding training for cops and sheepdog civilians alike -- especially in the area of church safety/security):  Upcoming Training Calendar . I know the speakers personnally: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer Jimmy Meeks and Carl Chinn (all rock solid and you'll come away blessed).  

(5) The 2018 Badge of Hope Law Enforcement Marriage Seminar will be held July 22, 2018 in Lenexa, KS.  Stay tuned for more details soon!


The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a national, FCPO-affiliated, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our website and our social media  ( Facebook and Twitter ) feeds. As always, feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others. 

We are lead by Police Officer and Chaplain/Evangelist Michael "MC"  Williams, a 30-year law enforcement veteran and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches [including the well-received Centurion Church Security Seminar] retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via email for more.   

Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
FCPO-USA exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and iron sharpens iron fellowship to Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our metro Denver chapter -- FCPO #217((aka FCPO-Denver/Aurora, a Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry affiliate) -- currently meets most 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at Calvary Aurora (High School Room at the top of the stairs) starting at 7 PM for  Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/iron sharpens iron fellowship. Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO. 

Our next "cop church" fellowship and Bible study is set for this Thursday, January 25th. Join us!


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"Courageous Integrity"

God has called His faithful to not only be men and women of integrity, but also biblically courageous both on duty but also in our personal lives and ministries.  Does that describe you?  Is should and it can!

Deuteronomy 31:6-7
Then  Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel,  "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it.
  It is the Lord  who goes before you. He will be with you;  he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed."

Joshua 1:7-9
Only be strong and  very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law  that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a]wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but  you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

In the final scene of the film Courageous (one of most powerful speeches in movie history), Deputy Adam Mitchell (Alex Kendrick) rightly asks, "So where are you men of courage?" Moreover, are we men and women of biblical integrity? Both in the "church" (God's people) and for those of us serving in our our God-ordained profession (Romans 13:1-4) of law enforcement, these questions need to be asked and answered today.  

Before we dig in, let's define our terms by God's standard as revealed in His Word, the Bible:
(1) COURAGEOUS (courage): Our friends at Got Questions Ministries have put together a short article that explains this concept wonderfully: What does God say about courage?Moreover, the Bible has no shortage of passages that deal with the what it means to be courageous: What does the Bible say about being courageous? 
(2) INTEGRITYThe dictionary defines integrity  as "a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values, or incorruptibility; incapable of being bribed or morally corrupted" (a definition that we most certainly understand as cops). In the Bible, the Hebrew word translated "integrity" in the Old Testament means "the condition of being without blemish, completeness, perfection, sincerity, soundness, uprightness, wholeness." Integrity  in the New Testament means "honesty and adherence to a pattern of good works." See What does the Bible say about integrity? for more (great list).  

Again, these are both terms we understand as cops. Frankly, most of those who answer the call to serve do so with incredible courage and integrity on the job -- at least at first. But what I'm seeing today is, frankly,  an epidemic of weakness that is sweeping into both "the church" (the body of "Christian" believers) and our profession. The current anti-police and anti-Christian culture is infiltrating both and, in the process, leaving us fearful of leading (serving) and making right (meaning biblical) decisions. Moreover, as we move further and further into the "last days" ( end times),  sin is gaining an ever stronger foothold and with it, both our courage and integrity are waning.

Some of us are becoming discouraged in our service and yes, even in our ministries (again, EVERY Christian is called to ministry [service] in one form or another) because we have refused to be obedient to God as revealed in His Word. Folks, n othing in the life of a true, born again believer ever happens apart from courage! Somebody has to pull the proverbial "trigger." When we read both of our passages above, we must do so in part via an emotional context.  In Deuteronomy 31, Moses, close to death, passes the torch of leadership to Joshua (and is dead by the time we read Joshua 1). Why is Moses no longer living and in leadership? In part, because he  disobeyed God. Moses allowed the pressure of those following him to get to him and caused him to compromise his integrity. Accordingly, and yes, in obedience, He commissioned Joshua to carry on (a commission not unlike ours in law enforcement).

Now, in what is perhaps the best text on servant-leadership in the Bible, God comes to Joshua to personally endorse and corfirm that commission!  Let's be clear -- Joshua's call, and thus our call, is not for the faint of heart. On this, I'd like to share four points from Joshua 1 that provides for us God's description of courage and integrity:

(1) Courage and integrity rests upon a clear "call for service" from God (v. 1-4).
There is no such thing as courage and biblical integrity apart from mission, just as there is no such thing as faith apart from challenge. In short, God calls us not only to courage and integrity, but courage and integrity for God's PURPOSE (versus our own). 

Through his appointed Deputy (Moses), God gave Joshua his commission and mission before showing up in person as our utimate Chief to "swear" him in. Teaching on this, Pastor Crawford Loritts said, "God isn't needy of worthy men. He makes men worthy. Therefore we shouldn't fear the loss of any of his human instruments. God isn't fearful of his cause failing."  So does God still show up to commission us today?  Both through His Word and the gifts/passions He has given to each of us, the answer is a most emphatic, "YES!"

(2) Courage and integrity rests upon the assurance of God's presence and power (v. 5, 9).
God never calls us to do anything apart from Him and the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells every true believer at the moment we are born again in Christ (see How do we receive the Holy Spirit?).   Do you think God would leave Joshua (or you) high and dry? If God has called you, He is with you and will give you the power (His Devine resources) to train us up to answer His callings on your life with courage and integrity. 

3) Courage rests upon front-sight focused determination (v 6, 7, 9).
Three times He repeats " be strong and courageous." God does not have a speech impediment (like Moses did). When He repeats himself, it is intentional and with a tactical and strategic purpose.  For the Christian, l eadership is strengthened by obedience. It's a verb, not a position. You know you're flying over the right target when you're being shot at. If you're running because of opposition, you'll be running for the rest of your life.  If you act courageously, you'll get more courage. God is with you, but He'll only strengthen you when you raise your leg and step forward in faith. The Hebrew phrase for this Spirit-powered resolve, courage and integrity? Rak chazak amats (see again Eric Ludy's "Ancient War Cry").

4) Courage is anchored by the Word of God (v 7-8).
Success or failure in a mission is tied to your relationship to truth. There are three primary relationships in this passage:
a) Proclain (speak; live) the Word ("let it not depart from your mouth").
The ;ack of biblical illiteracy among modern day Christians is appalling. How dare you presume that your ministry, your marriage or your job (especially our service in law enforcement) can succeed without it being built upon God's Word! Christian, being men and women of courage and integrity means making your time alone in God's Word and prayer (daily devotional time) inviolable. 

b) Meditate upon the Word ("you shall meditate on it day and night"). 
This is akin to loading up on extra ammo and cinching up your armor. When trials come, you must be armored-up and have the ammunition needed to wield the sword ( Ephesians 6:10-18) to take on and overcome  a most powerful adversary.  And how do we do this? By immersing ourselves in God's Word, in prayer and in iron sharpens iron fellowship with other "all in" believers. 

c) Do all that is written in it
Loritts said, "There isn't a dynamic relationship between giftedness and holiness, but true fruitfulness will prove itself over time." Our integrity in both law enforcement and our "ministry" (including the ministries in our homes) is everything, so we must diligently practice (train) God's truth and remain obedient to ALL He has called us to.

Lots for us to chew on here to be sure, but let me close with a verse that sums this up powerfully: In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul exhorts us to " Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong" (NIV). The NKJV (and other translations) replace "be courageous" with "act like men." Folks, understand that God has called His faithful to be men and women of true courage and integrity, and that is ONLY possible if we are radically living out our faith under the power of Holy Spirit that indwells EVERY true believer. Without that life-saving/life-changing faith and power, we are doomed to failure in this life along with what will ultimately be an eternal, just sentence in hell with no hope of parole!  

Friend, are you sure of your standing with Christ? Do you want to live a life of courageous integrity in accordance to God's call? Can you answer the question Deputy Mitchell asked in the opening paragraph of this study?  If your answer is anything but an absolute and resounding "YES" (and "I will!") then dig into the following:  

Jesus' first words in His earthly ministry were, " Repent and believe in the Good News" ( Mark 1:15).  To repent  is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates our sin. To believe  as He intends it here is to  completely and radically surrender in faith to Christ for your salvation  in the same way you have faith that your body armor will stop the rounds it is designed to stop or that a skydiver's parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! The "Good News" of course is the Gospel of Christ. 

The same concept of " believe" is further explained in John 3:1-21 where Jesus says, "... you must be born again." Note our Lord's emphasis on must (not "may" or "should"): this is the life-saving/life-changing personal relationship (NOT  "religion") with Christ that I stress so often (see What does it mean to be a born again Christian?). 

With this foundation in place, see:
(a) Still think you "deserve" heaven? Take the Good Person Test  and see how you do. Then go to...
(b)  How can I be saved? (Cry out to Him today!)
(c)  Cops and Salvation (a powerful, short message from Police Major  Travis Yates of Ten-Four Ministries and Law Officer Magazine ).
(d) Got saved?  Now what?

Let's make "courageous integrity" a way of life (in Christ) and not just mere words!

Questions? I'm here to serve -- contact me..    

MC


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