The Centurion Law Enforcement
FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
Fellow  Sheepdogs  & Supporters:

[UPDATED]

As Florida and the South reels from the impact of Hurricane Irma, we must also not forget that today marks the sixteenth anniversary of our modern " day of infamy" in the 9/11/2001 attacks. God has pressed me to share a Bible study/devotional in remembrance of this day using a grainy photo that has great meaning to me: that of NY Port Authority Officer Christopher Amoroso rescuing people out of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001. My prayer is that you'll take it to heart and allow God to shape your life through it. Scroll down to " Remembering 9/11." 

Here on the local front (meaning Colorado Front Range), we're set for our next Centurion/FCPO-Aurora " cop church" fellowship where we'll finally finish up Acts 19. We'll meet this Thursday,  September 14th at Calvary Aurora , starting at 7 PM in the High School Room on the 3rd floor (there will be signs at the lower church entrance). Invite a colleague, bring your spouse and join us for a great time of iron sharpens iron fellowship, united prayer and profession-focused (hey, it's life-focused) Bible study.  As always, I'll recap our study for all our readers in NEXT week's newsletter.  

Please take the time to review the latest batch of resources , prayer requests and event announcements I've included for you below -- including one for those being impacted by the hurricane in Florida. Please reach out if you need prayer or other assistance -- we're here to serve you.

Finally,  if you missed last week's edition, here again is "Time to Man Up!"  Don't forget that I will always re-share these newsletters/profession-focused Bible studies for you on our website  and social media (Facebook and Twitter) feeds.  

Again, let's watch one another's "six" on the street while being radically bold in sharing the hope we have in Christ with others (and our own in particular).  Blessings! 

MC



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RESOURCES

NY Times best selling author and noted speaker Joel Rosenberg has posted a great article that provides a wholly biblical (God's) perspective on all the hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, nuclear threats and terrorism (both domestic and foreign) that are hitting us on multiple fronts: What in the World is Going On? 


PRAYER REQUESTS
 
(1) Let's continue to pray for those being impacted by Hurricane Irma (especially our fellow first responders who are once again dealing with looters on top of everything else). In addition, some 200 officers in Houston (and thousands of citizens) have lost their homes in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Please pray. 

(2) Pray for your pastors (you SHOULD have a pastor)!  Unless you're in their shoes, you can never truly appreciate the spiritual warfare that takes place in that role. 

(3) Pray for a brother in NC who is going through a divorce.  God knows the details -- just pray.  

(4) Continue to pray for wounded Wichita (KS) Officer Brian Arterburn who was moved on September 12th from here in Colorado to another rehab facility in Texas. Pray also for his wife, Officer  Claudale Cavanaugh-Arterburn as she seeks the Lord on Brian's care. I'm going to miss them.


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) Here's the updated Sheepdog Seminars schedule (outstanding training for cops and sheepdog civilians alike): Sheepdog Seminars.  I know the speakers (including Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer Jimmy Meeks and Carl Chinn) -- rock solid and you'll come away blessed!

(2) As you know, writing, speaking and teaching on leadership (and SERVANT-leadership in particular) in law enforcement is a big part of what I do both in ministry and "on the job." Accordingly, I give strong support to Law Officer editor, friend, and fellow cop/trainer, Travis Yates' new seminar offering, Courageous Leadership .   

(3) The 2017 Breaching the Barricade Law Enforcement Conference and National Peace Officer Appreciation Day events are set for October 6 and 7 in Elkhart, IN. This year's outstanding lineup of speakers are J. Warner Wallace, Stacy and Martha Ettel, Brent and Vicki Newman, and Kristi Neace. Contact Jim Bontrager at warrioronthewall@gmail.com  for more info (and if you're coming and want a Centurion t-shirt, email me your size in advance and I'll bring you one -- for FREE). PRAY for those attending and serving!

(4) Retired Albuquerque (NM) PD Detective and a fellow church security expert (he taught me much of what I know on the subject), Vince Harrison -- a dear brother who God used to lead me to a genuine saving faith in Christ -- has announced the Global One Place of Worship Threat Survival Seminar.  October 19, 2017 at Calvary Albuquerque.  Outstanding training.



The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a 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 on social media  ( Facebook and Twitter ) pages. Feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others. 

In addition, I regularly speak at churches, retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country -- please shoot me an email if I can be of service to your church, agency or organization.  
 
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. My metro Denver chapter -- FCPO #217((FCPO-Aurora), typically meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday at Calvary Aurora (High School Room, 7 PM) for "cop church" Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior fellowship . Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO! Our next meeting is set for TONIGHT, Thursday, September 14th.   

Information on the other FCPO chapters meeting around the country (including the new Chapter #242 here in Arvada, CO) can be found on the Chapter Locator pages on the FCPO-USA website.

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Remembering 9/11



Monday, of course, marked the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Both then and now (in light of the many other disasters going on in the word -- both natural and otherwise), people continue to ask, "Where was God when...?" In my opening remarks above, I posted a photo that my friend Lt. Col. Dave Grossman shares in his own seminars -- that of slain NY Port Authority Officer Christopher Amoroso. With this in mind, I'm led to share the following devotional by noted pastor, author and biblical scholar R.C. Sproul. Open your Bible, prayerfully take it in, and then see my own comments that follow. Here's, "When Towers Fall."

When a catastrophe happens in our world, it is virtually certain that a question will come up: "Where was God?" People always seem to question how a good God could allow a terrible thing to happen.

The same question came up in Jesus' time, as we see from an incident recorded in Luke's Gospel:  There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5)

Some people asked Jesus a question about an atrocity that had occurred at the hands of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. It seems that some people who were in the midst of worship were massacred by Pilate's soldiers. The people who came to Jesus were troubled about this and asked Him how God could have allowed it to happen to His chosen people.

Jesus answered their question with a question: " Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?" This response shows us that those who brought the original question to Jesus were assuming that all the suffering that people endure in this world is proportionately related to their degree of sinfulness, an idea that remains pervasive today.

Of course, suffering and death came into this world in the first place because of sin. So, Jesus' questioners were correct in assuming that there is a connection between moral evil and physical suffering. But Jesus took that opportunity to remind them that we cannot leap to the conclusion that all people suffer in direct proportion to their degree of sin.

The Bible makes this point very clearly. It shows that the wicked sometimes prosper and the righteous sometimes suffer deeply. The book of Job especially belies the idea of a proportionate relationship between sin and suffering by showing that even though Job was the most upright man in the world, he was visited with untold misery, and then had to endure the questioning of his "friends," who assumed he must have fallen into terrible sin.

Thus, when Jesus asked His disciples: " Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?" the answer was obvious. No, they were not worse sinners than anyone else. Jesus wanted to get the idea of a proportionate connection between sin and suffering out of the disciples' minds lest they think that they were better people in God's sight because they had not suffered and died. So, He warned them: "unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

To drive His point home, Jesus mentioned a similar incident: " Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?" Again, the answer was clearly no. These victims were no worse and no better than any other Jews. So, once more He warned them: " unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Those who were killed by the Roman troops and those who died when the tower fell may have been upstanding citizens. But in the vertical dimension, in their relationship to God, none of them was innocent, and the same is true for us. Jesus was saying, "Instead of asking Me why a good God allowed this catastrophe, you should be asking why your own blood wasn't spilled." Jesus was reminding His hearers that there is ultimately no such thing as an innocent person (except Him). Thus, we should not be amazed by the justice of God but by the grace of God. We should be asking why towers do not fall on us each and every day.

When anything painful, sorrowful, or grievous befalls us, it is never an act of injustice on God's part, because God does not owe us freedom from tragedies. He does not owe us protection from falling towers. We are debtors to God and cannot repay. Our only hope to avoid perishing at the hands of God is repentance.

Jesus was not being insensitive or harsh with His disciples. He simply had to jolt them out of a false way of thinking. We would do well to receive His jolt with gladness, for it helps us see things from the eternal perspective. We can deal with catastrophes in this world only by understanding that behind them stands the eternal purpose of God and by realizing that He has delivered us from the ultimate catastrophe-the collapse of the tower of His final judgment on our heads.


Amen!  Remember that I opened this devotional by pointing you to the photo of NY Port Authority Officer Chris Amoroso (please click and read about him) rescuing people from the burning/falling towers. This was not his first trip out, but it would be his last -- Chris was killed in the South tower soon after this photo was taken (again, while seeking to rescue even more).  Many rightly point out that Chris was a hero (he was certainly that). But the most important question that can and MUST be asked is whether or not Chris died with a saving faith in Christ.  Again, our service as cops will NOT save us! Nor will being a "good person" (by the world's standard) earn you eternity in heaven or save you from hell. On the contrary, the context of what Jesus rightly pointed out here in our study of Luke 13 is that He alone is the ONLY way unto salvation (John 14:6).  

Folks, it is for heroes like Chris Amoroso that we MUST have a Code 3 sense of urgency to share the hope we have in Christ (the ULTIMATE rescue and backup). Did Chris have that saving faith? Frankly, I don't know (ultimately between him and God), but a "no" answer must be untenable for us. Chris was reportedly Catholic, but being "religious" or someone who "goes to church" won't save you either. If Chris were here with us today, I would ask him the same question that I'm now asking of you: Have you cried out to God for your salvation (I'm not talking about just "repeating a prayer")? Have you repented of your sin and been born again in the ONLY one who can save you (no, there is no "other" way)? Are you sure? If not, and with the same ethos Chris displayed on 9/11/01, I BEG you to consider the following:

(1) Jesus' first words in His earthly ministry were: " Repent and believe... " ( 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 to Christ in faith  ("believe" and "faith" have the same Greek root meaning) 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 (we stake our lives on it)! The "Good News" of course is the Gospel of Christ. Moreover, the words repent and believe are literally two sides of the same coin in meaning and intent (see the "Are you really a Christian" link below for more). 

(2) 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?" Then go to: 

(a) Perhaps you think you can "earn" heaven (or escape hell) by simply being a "good person" (or a "good cop")?  Then take the Good Person Test  and see how you do. 
(d)  Cops and Salvation (a powerful, short message from police Commander Travis Yates of Ten-Four Ministries and Law Officer Magazine ).
(e) Got saved?  Now what?

Need prayer, counsel or more info? Feel free to  contact me !  Finally, don't forget to pass these newsletters on to others in keeping with our Great Commission mandate.

MC
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