The Centurion Law Enforcement
FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study

The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
Fellow  Sheepdogs  & Supporters:

As I write this week's newsletter and Bible study, we here in Colorado are again reeling from our third line of duty death ("LODD") in the last five weeks (see the Prayer Request section below for details on our latest). Accordingly, this week's study is my attempt to present part of God's answer to the proverbial "WHY? !" and "Where was God when..." questions. Scroll down to " When All Hell Breaks Loose.

Moreover, our upcoming (Thursday, February 8th) FCPO/Centurion chapter fellowship will also be a time for us to pray and talk through what has been happening to us here in Colorado and around the country/world in general:  Calvary Aurora, High School Room, 7 PM. Spouses are always encouraged to attend with their LEO!  

Miss a past issue?  I always re-post them on our website , Twitter and Facebook pages, but here again is last week's extremely important edition: Over Our Dead Bodies (powerful application for us in light of "all hell breaking loose" with the LOD deaths of our brethren and life in general).  

Don't forget that we are transitioning away from Yahoo to a Gmail address you can start using immediately: thecenturionministry@gmail.com .  

Finally, thanks to all who reached out to me on my birthday this past weekend -- blessed my socks off even if I'm no longer counting.  As always, stay safe on the street while being radically  bold in Christ.

MC 




RESOURCES

(1) Apostasy and false doctrine ("itching ears..." -- 2 Tim. 4:3) are permeating both the church of God and society in general (the enemy being very much on the warpath in these last days). Here, therefore, is another great set of evidence-based tools to help us defend what we believe.  My friend J. Warner Wallace is rightfully on this list!  Top Ten Christian Apologists.  

(2)  Friend, fellow LEO and police trainer (SafeTac), Maj. Travis Yates, has made training grants available for two outstanding training seminars: Police Training Grants for "The First Three Seconds - Survive the Ambush" and "Courageous Leadership for Law Enforcement."


PRAYER REQUESTS

As I shared above, "all hell" again broke loose here in Colorado yesterday (Mon., Jan. 5th) and we're reeling from our third line of duty death in the last five weeks. Pray for me as I minister to our own through yet another police funeral. Praise God, at least 2 of the 3 knew Christ as Lord and Savior (an exception to be sure). The latest is El Paso County Sheriff's Detective Micah Flick. Micah -- a strong Christian (sadly all-too-rare) -- leaves behind a wife and 7 y.o. twins (a son and daughter). At least one of his wounded colleagues remains in the hospital at the time of this posting but is stable and improving. Pr ay for Micah's family (both blue and natural) and for our wounded, and pray that the Gospel will be preached with authority and without compromise at Micah's funeral this Saturday.
Donations for the Flick Family can be made to: The El Paso County Sheriff's Office Foundation, 1980 Dominion Way, Ste. 200. Colorado Springs, CO 80918

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.  

(4) Police Week 2018 is again approaching (May) and we seek your prayers as we again head to DC to serve/minister to our own. Stay tuned for more details.

(5) The 2018 Badge of Hope Law Enforcement Marriage Seminar will be held July 22 , 2018 in Lenexa, KS.  I've been a speaker at a past seminar -- you'll be blessed.  

(6) In addition to my own Centurion Church Security Seminars (again, contact me for details), here's the latest from my friends with Sheepdog Seminars (click the "SEMINAR SCHEDULE" button.  This is outstanding, warrior-focused training for cops and civilian sheepdogs alike (and not only in the area of church safety/security). I know and trust the main speakers: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, retired officer Jimmy Meeks and Carl Chinn (all rock solid and you'll come away blessed).  


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, February 8th. Join us!


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"When All Hell Breaks Loose"
God's own answer to the "Where was God when...?" and "Why?!" questions.

(v. 29 of The Message reads, " And then all hell broke loose; rampant evil...")

Here in Colorado, we are once again planning another police funeral (three now in the last 5 weeks). Frankly, I'm reeling. I can understand why so many are asking questions like, "Where was God?" or "Why would a loving God allow..." and "Where was God ' when all hell broke loose '?" Let's open our Bibles and discover God's own answer together!

The death of our brother officers, death in general, sickness, loss, and all other trials and tribulations are NOT "news" to God.  In fact, He has this to say about such things in  Isaiah 45:7 --  "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

Let's consider a couple of points here.  First, I believe we are very much in the " Last Days" before, literally, " all hell " will, in fact, " break loose " on the earth.  Paul speaks to us about this in 2 Timothy 3 -- "that in the last days perilous times would come..." (added emphasis mine).

Beyond that, and sin issues aside, Os Hillman rightly expressed that " God will use pain in order to create a love relationship with His creation." Got that? God uses -- even allows -- pain, trials, and tribulation (the "troubles" of this life) to draw us into a closer relationship with Him and to "train" us to carry out our "mission" (His will) on this earth.  

Now I understand that, for some, this statement may challenge your theology. However, consider that God allowed Jesus to experience incredible pain and suffering in order to rescue us from hell through a genuine, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with us. 

Likewise, consider how Jesus created such a relationship with Paul. Our Lord blinded him and used a crisis in Paul's life in order to bring him into relationship and use him for God's purposes (Acts 9).

Now also understand that God's first preference is to show mercy and kindness ( "Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" -- Romans 2:4). The problem is there are few people who respond to the goodness and mercy of God. He desires relationship with us and will go to great lengths to create such a relationship in order for us to receive the rewards and inheritance He has for us.

So how does this apply in terms of the loss of a loved one? The death of a partner/fellow officer? Folks, it may very well be that God's plan is to use such loss as a means to reach the lost.  For example, I can tell you with overwhelming certainty that part of slain Deputy Zach Parrish's legacy is that the Gospel was preached with power and authority to a captive audience of mostly unbelievers at his funeral service. There are those have who repented and come to faith because of this horrendous tragedy and, because of that decision, will spend eternity in heaven instead of a just eternal "sentence" in hell. 

Then there is the question of evil. Billy Graham was asked the "Why?" question ("Why does God allow evil?") hundreds of times during his ministry.  As part of his wholly biblical answer, Dr. Graham rightly pointed us to 2 Thessalonians 2:7 in which Paul calls evil  "the mystery of iniquity." That's what evil is -- a mystery.  And why does God allow evil?  Consider the following three points from Bro. Graham:

(1)  God tells us in His Word ( the Bible) that evil does not come from God, nor can we blame God for all the evils in the world. Evil comes instead from Satan, and it entered this world when Satan deceived Adam and Eve and caused them to turn against God. Both evil and Satan are real, and the two go hand-in-hand.

(2) T he Bible tells us that someday all evil will be banished. The vast spiritual conflict between Satan and God that has raged from the beginning of time will be over, and God will be triumphant. Someday all evil will be cast "into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

(3) God reveals in His Word that,  in the meantime, He can give us victory over evil. This doesn't mean bad things will never happen to us, but even when they do, we can know God is with us, and He will give us strength to stand against and overcome them in Christ.  

Here in Colorado, we've had our share of "Why God?" and "when all hell broke loose" moments, including but by no means limited to the horrific 2012 Aurora theater shooting. In the aftermath of that "hell breaking loose" moment, many of my fellow officers repented of their sin and were born again in Christ.  Many others re-committed their lives to Him and are being used in mighty ways for His purposes. 

Also here in Colorado, my friend, mentor and former pastor, Ed Taylor (someone very much familiar with tragedy) wrote the following: 
One of the most popular question we face surround the issue of evil in light of the goodness of God.  However asking the question, "If God is so good and loving, why does He allow evil?" starts with a flawed premise. The question itself implies that we are in a position to say what is good and what is not good about God. We ourselves do not know what good is naturally, for we are not basically good. How then can we judge God?
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)
Still, the question of evil persists, and we often hear the question "why?" in the aftermath of ongoing tragedies. Remember, when God created the world, He created it perfect. That includes His creation of man. Yet, this "perfect" man was also given the freedom of choice, or an ability to choose. When Adam chose to disobey God, sin, death and suffering became an inevitable part of life. Romans 5:12 states, " When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned" (NLT). The evil in this world is a result of that original sin.

You may say, "Wait a minute, I didn't choose to sin. Adam did." Yet, the Bible teaches that we all have sinned ( Romans 3:23). We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. We have a natural bent in us to do what is wrong. James 4:1 says that there is a " whole army of evil desires at war within you." At the same time, God gave us absolutes to live our lives by -- standards that are found in the Bible. When we make choices that are contrary to those absolutes and standards, evil is the result.

C. S. Lewis put this question in proper perspective. He observed that it is idle for us to speculate about the origin of evil. The problem we all face is the fact of evil. The only solution to the fact of evil is God's solution, Jesus Christ [Paul Little, How to Give Away Your Faith (Downers Grove, Ill.; InterVarsity Press, 1966), p. 72]. Once you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you enter into the master plan that God has for you. For that reason, you can be assured of the promise in His Word, that " everything works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them " ( Romans 8:28 ). 

God regularly uses evil and tragedy for our good in accordance with His perfect will. At my church ( Truth Church Calvary), Pastor Sam Park just finished taking us through Genesis and shared Joseph's assessment of his brothers' wicked act of selling him into slavery. Understanding that God had allowed this to happen so that he could be a man of power in Egypt, Joseph said, " As for you, you meant evil against me, but  God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today ( Gen. 50:20). 

We may not always understand the "why's" of evil and tragedy, but we can know the "Who" that will carry us through it. God promises, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God . . ." (Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV).

So do you have that understanding and hope?  Do you have the assurance that no matter that what happens in this life, God will carry you through and ultimately lead you home to be with Him in heaven (and thus escape "all hell")? Are you walking in victory knowing that, in the end, we WIN?  Friend, Christ went through "all hell" so that you can!

Today, if you know Christ as Lord and Savior, then be bold and obedient in radically living that out and sharing your hope with others in accordance with our Great Commission "call for service" (a command, not a suggestion -- and simply sharing these newsletters with others is a way to do that). 

Likewise, if you are reading this without a saving relationship (not "religion") with Christ, I implore you to consider the following:    

(1) J esus' first words in His earthly ministry: " 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 cry out to God for your salvation; to  completely and radically surrender in faith to Christ in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job or that a skydiver's parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! And the "Good News" that Jesus refers to here is of course His Gospel and plan of salvation.

(2) Understand that you can't "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven (or out of hell) by your worldly "goodness" or service in law enforcement. Without embracing Christ and his redeeming blood that He shed for you, you can NEVER be "good" enough to make it into heaven or escape "all hell" (take the "Good Person Test" and see how you do).  Do you have that?  Are you sure?

(3) This same concept of " believe" is further revealed 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 with Christ that I stress here every week (see What does it mean to be a born again Christian?). 

So now with this foundation in place, see:
(b)  Cops and Salvation (a powerful, short message from Police Major  Travis Yates of Ten-Four Ministries and Law Officer Magazine ).
(c) Got saved?  Now what?

More? Take the time to watch Pastor Greg Laurie's excellent message of the same title, "When All Hell Breaks Loose." 

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

MC


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