The Centurion Law Enforcement
FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
Fellow Sheepdogs  & Supporters:

This week's newsletter finds folks once again preparing for a major storm (Hurricane Irma) that is potentially bearing down on Florida and environs. Join us in praying for those in it's path (see the prayer requests below) and see last week's newsletter for ways to give. . 

And speaking of last week's edition, this week's Bible study is one God has pressed me to share as a follow-up to last week's ("Called to Integrity").  While addressed to the guys, there is powerful application for both sexes.  Scroll down to "Time to Man Up!

Stay safe on the street but radically bold (Holy Spirit-led) in sharing the hope we have in Christ with others -- and our own in particular -- especially in light of our issues both here at home (9/11 anniversary next week, the ongoing "War on Cops," hurricanes, fires, disease, suicide, etc.) and looming war clouds abroad.   

MC



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RESOURCES

In the midst of the storms of life (whether it be hurricanes, fires, death, disease, war...), where is God?  See " Why Does God Allow...?".


PRAYER REQUESTS!
 
(1) Please continue to pray for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including our own who continue to work impossible hours in very tough conditions while many of their own homes have been damaged or destroyed (and their families hurting).

(2) Also speaking of hurricanes, we are now bracing for Hurricane Irma on the Atlantic side. Retired officer Jim Campbell writes, "With Hurricane Irma approaching, please remember everyone in its path. Here in Beaufort SC we have friends that are just getting back to normal after Matthew and some still working at it.  We would like to see Irma turn away from land and out to sea."

(3) We may again be on verge of war as evil runs unchecked in N. Korea. God has called our government (in this case, military) to be a "terror" against it (Romans 13:1-4).  Pray for our nation and wisdom for our Commander-in-Chief and military leaders.  

(4) Prayers are requested for those being impacted by the fires raging here in the West. 

(5) Pray for an Aurora officer in the midst of another storm in his life.  God knows the details.


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) 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). 

(2) Retired Albuquerque 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.

(3) 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.   

(4) Also speaking of church security training (among other topics), here's the updated Sheepdog Seminars schedule (outstanding training for cops and sheepdog civilians alike):  Sheepdog Seminars Training Schedule.  I know the speakers (including Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer Jimmy Meeks and Carl Chinn) -- rock solid and you'll come away blessed!



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 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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It's Time to "Man Up"
 
"Be on the alert,  stand firm in the faith,  act like men,  be strong. Let all that you do be done  in love
( 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 , NASB -- or  1 Cor. 16:13-14 ,  Phillips)


This week's Bible study (and the resources that go with it) is not just for cops but also for men in general (and with application for both sexes). No doubt, I'm sure to "offend" those out there who have bought into "the world's" (the enemy -- Satan -- and a "modern" culture that God has allowed him to control -- 2 Cor. 4:4) system that has become antagonistic to God's plan as revealed in His Word, the Bible. It is also likely to "offend" (God help us) those who have elected to stay in " lukewarm mode" ( Revelation 3:14-21). Clearly, God's Word is in fact " offensive" both to the enemy and the unrepentant unbeliever and backslider, but -- with so many " perishing" ( 1 Cor. 1:18) -- it is again with a " Code 3" (lights and siren) sense of urgency that I'm staying the course He has set for me both on "the job" and in ministry. Gents -- it's past " Time to Man Up!"

Modern society (again, "the world") has given us a highly "skewed" view of men, and I'm not just speaking about some of more highly publicized cultural issues of our time (skinny jeans and man buns aside -- Lord help us -- LOL).  To the point of this study, the biggest problem with the world's view is that men are encouraged to remain boys or even be anything but "manly" at all. This world encourages men to be selfish and childish, while God has a very different plan for us. Paul, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit (with Corinth being a very wicked, worldly place) in 1 Corinthians 13:11, tells us, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways." (added emphasis)

With that, let's look at just 4 main bullet points (real men -- and cops in particular -- should understand "bullets"-:). 

GROW UP!

In order to answer God's call to "man up," we must first grow up. Scripture gives us the ultimate example of being a man in Jesus Himself. Dr. Luke tells us in Luke 2:52 that "...Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." Jesus grew up. He  matured -- He did not remain a little boy (spiritually, not just physically). Now there is nothing wrong with being a little boy for a season, but there comes a time and a place where the boy must become a man -- to "man up" -- to "act like men" (1 Cor. 16:13), and that time  is NOW!

So what does it look like to grow up? Obviously it includes physical growth. Luke tells us that that Jesus increased in stature. The Greek word he used here for stature is "helikia," meaning either age or stature in height. So clearly there is physical growth involved, but, to our point in this study, Luke also states that Jesus grew in wisdom. Like our Savior, a man (and woman) after God's heart will seek to gain wisdom. The Greek word used here for wisdom is "sophia" which means "wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters." God's plan is for us to grow in Him, including knowing and growing in His Word -- "to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18 -- to grow in the wisdom of God). 

How do we do that? In Ephesians 4:11-13, Paul tells us that God sent teachers (like me or your pastor, for example), prophets, apostles and the like to help the church (believers) grow; to attain mature, spiritual "manhood."  A truly Godly man will grow in wisdom and stature, he will use that wisdom to train in endurance and patience, and gain the strength to endure and resist temptation and be better able to lead (serve and protect) his spouse, children and others.

WARRIOR UP!

The second aspect of Biblical manhood is God's call for men to be servant-warriors (not "guardians" or other such nonsense). How did most of us guys (well, us "older" guys) play as kids?  It usually involved toy swords and guns (and my dad taught me to shoot before I could walk). God created men to have a servant-warrior's heart, and He is Himself a warrior (The LORD is a warrior, the LORD is His name -- Exodus 15:3). In Revelation, we find image after image of Christ as a warrior king. Of this, noted Bible scholar and author, Dr. Tremper Longman, wrote, "Virtually every book of the Bible -- Old and New Testaments -- tells us about God's warring activity." God created us as men in His own image. As such, we should also share His servant-warrior's heart. 

And Jesus?  He is Biblical manhood personified!  The horrendous torture and death He lovingly took for us -- bearing God's full and righteous wrath for our sin -- was the work of a true servant-warrior.  While I do not always agree with John Eldridge, he was correct when he wrote, "Jesus is...no pale faced altar boy with his hair parted in the middle, speaking softly, avoiding confrontation, who got himself killed because he has no way out. He is the Lord of hosts, the captain of angel armies. And when Christ returns, he is at the head of a dreadful company, mounted on a white horse, with a double edged sword, and his robe dipped in blood..." (Rev. 19). Amen to that!

So then what does God intend for Christian (the real kind) men as biblical servant-warriors? Understand that I'm not just talking about righteous (biblical) physical combat -- be it military, law enforcement or lawful defense of ourselves and our loved ones (blood and blue).  Rather, God has called us to spiritual warriorhood: to be the spiritual servant-leaders/shepherds of our families, our churches, our communities and yes, even our agencies (even if doing the latter involves some wisdom). Moreover, God intends that our greatest battles be fought on our knees (in prayer). As servant-warriors, we are to be engaged in continual combat against the attacks of a very real enemy (Satan -- our common "enemy" whom Peter describes as "a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" -- 1 Peter 5:8). To "man up" then means to be in constant training (regular prayer, study of God's Word, fellowship with other "all in" Christian servant-warriors) so as to withstand and defeat (with God's help) a very real enemy!

FIGHT UP!

Another way God calls us to "man up" is in the way we are to treat the women in our lives: our wives, mothers, daughters and women in general. God has called men to "fight" for the them -- to protect them, pray for them, lead (serve) them and, as it relates specifically to our wives, being utterly faithful to them (including what we look at on the internet). In Scripture, the description God gives us is of the church being the "bride of Christ" for whom He fought for by dying on the cross. As servant-leaders, God has charged us to fight for/defend the women He has placed in our lives to our very last breath, in much the same way He has commissioned us cops to serve, protect and defend the public (Psalm 82:3-4, Romans 13:1-4) -- even to the point of our own deaths.  

Now understand, our call to "man up" does not make us in any way superior to woman. God's made woman from a man's rib -- to be our partners and equals, but with different roles (I thank God He didn't give me the ability to have children -- LOL) -- and it is our God-commanded role to serve, protect and lead them in the ways of the Lord.  And as servant-leaders/warriors we must be leading those entrusted to us in the ways of the Lord. Sadly, this is a responsibility that man has continually failed at all the way back to Adam. Gents, get in the fight!

LOVE UP!
       
Finally, and in keeping with the greatest commandment ( Matthew 22:36-40), we must LOVE UP ( agape) in order to man up!  Much has been written on the subject of agape (sacrificial) love, and my friend Lt. Col. Dave Grossman -- a true warrior -- makes love a central theme in his seminars.  Our ultimate example?  It is found when Jesus speaks of sacrificial love in His Sermon on the Mount where He states, " Greater love [agape]  has no one than this,   that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13 -- and speaking of those like Himself who would sacrifice their lives so that the lost could come to a saving faith in Him).  


Biblical manhood is a central theme in my own speaking/teaching ministry, and there is so much more on this topic that could be discussed here (God's Word aside, whole books and ministries have been devoted to this issue). However, I've hopefully provided you with a "Rock" solid biblical foundation for future study (growth). Bottom line? God commands us as men to grow in wisdom and stature; to be loving, servant-warriors who will spiritually defend themselves and others from a powerful (but ultimately defeated - praise God) enemy; and finally to serve, love, lead and defend the women He has placed in our lives. Will you do that?  Will you answer God's call to man up?

Both for those of us serving in law enforcement and men in general, I'll close our study by sharing some tough and rightly "in your face" words penned by fellow Christian police author and trainer, Travis Yates, from an article bearing essentially the same title: " It's Time to 'Man Up'


So how then can we answer this call and command from God to "man up"? Ultimately,  ONLY if we are first born again in Him and thereby living under the indwelling power and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Is that you?  Are you sure?  If not, see:

(1) 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 God intends it to  completely and radically surrender to Him 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) In John 3:1-21, 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
QAf`