The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry Newsletter
all), spouses and supporters:
With the busy
holiday weekend upon us, I'll try to be brief here.
First, Diana and I want to wish you all a safe and blessed
. Like many of you, I've worked a plethora of Thanksgiving holidays. If you'll be on duty (military and/or police),
and get home safe!
And speaking of giving thanks, and despite many trials of late, I have much to be thankful for this year, including but limited to my salvation in Christ, the gift of a great spouse, our kids and grandchildren, the privilege of still being able to serve in our God-ordained profession,
to all of you
who support this ministry and of course my calling to minister to my own through it.
In addition, having just received the news, I'm thankful and blessed to have been selected to present at the prestigious
International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association
. More on that soon but I covet your prayers as I prepare to present to and with the finest group of police trainers in the world. Rest assured, God will be honored and the Gospel shared!
Miss last week's newsletter and Bible study? Here again is "
A Nation Divided
." As always, these studies are re-posted for you on our
feeds and (eventually) on our
As always, please take the time to review the
I've shared for you below. If you have questions or need prayer, counsel or support, please
Let's stay the course and finish well behind Christ our Captain!
I am pressed to remind officers and their spouses about the various police-focused Bible study fellowships meeting in the Denver-Metro area and nationally to as well:
FCPO-Denver/Chapter 217 --
the home town part of
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
generally meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening in Highlands Ranch for profession-focused/life-focused fellowship and Bible study. Stay tuned here for meeting news and information (and scroll down for more).
(2) The "cop church" fellowship I planted in Aurora (CO) is now led by Aurora PD Officer Matthew Springer whom I had the honor to disciple. Now called
this fellowship is open to all First Responders. They generally meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday evening at Calvary Aurora. Go the the
The Shelter Foundation
was started by the spouse of slain Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy
. They host Bible studies (and so much MORE) for officers and (separately) their spouses: see their website for details!
(5) Finally, the
Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
(FCPO) has chapters all over the US (and a plethora of resources). Go to
and click on the "
" button to find a chapter near you.
(1) Pray for a friend and colleague who is in the midst of a prolonged internal affairs investigation. God knows the details -- just pray!
(2) While not a law enforcement request, I covet your prayers for my bride Diana as she studies and prepares to take a VERY difficult human resources certification exam.
(3) Pray for our deployed military personnel who are spending Thanksgiving and Christmas without their families.
(4) Pray for those law enforcement families who have lost a loved on in 2019 (and before): the holidays are exceedingly rough for those left to carry on.
(1) The 17th Annual
Cops Fighting Cancer "Joe Bumberger Long Blue Line"
event is set for
for more. Pray for Officer
and his team as well. I'll be there to serve again as well.
provides excellent training and resources for officers and civilian sheepdogs alike. I know and trust the instructors (including Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Officer (Ret.) Jimmy Meeks).
*Have a prayer request, event or announcement you would like included here? Need help/prayer?
I also post prayer requests on
my personal Facebook page
("friend" and message me).
A Cop's THANKSGIVING Legacy
Understanding Thanksgiving from a biblical, servant-warrior (police) perspective through the ultimate sacrifice of one of our own.
For the Christian (meaning one who has been genuinely born again in Christ), the foundation and biblical roots of
go back long before the origin of what we traditionally celebrate here in America. In fact, it's a story as old as creation itself and goes right up through when most of us will sit down to a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
You could in fact call this
the true story of Thanksgiving
: the Christian gospel viewed through the lens of that often forgotten and undervalued virtue known as "
" (giving thanks). And our exploration of this truth involves some Bible passages that we might otherwise think would not apply.
Let's start with four foundational principles and conclude with powerful application for us in law enforcement.
Created for Thanksgiving
God created humanity to
-- for gratitude. God created us to honor Him by giving Him thanks. Appreciating both who God is and His actions for us -- in creating us, loving us, using us and sustaining our lives -- is fundamental in God's created world. Paul, writing on this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (meaning it was "God breathed" -- from God Himself --
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or
to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened
. (added emphasis mine)
A big part of what God created us for is to honor Him by being thankful (thus the
numerous biblical COMMANDS
-- not mere suggestions -- to have a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude). In short, we were created to appreciate and give thanks to God, but we've sinned in all-too-often doing everything but.
Fallen from Thanksgiving
Frankly, we have all failed miserably in appreciating God as we should. In her book on gratitude ("One Thousand Gifts"), Ann Voskamp gives powerful expression to the failure of the first man and woman -- and the devil before and after them -- to rightly experience and express thankfulness.
From all of our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden story. Satan, he wanted more. More power, more glory. Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully ungrateful for what God gave. Isn't that the catalyst of all my sin? Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.
Satan -- the ultimate
thankfulness in Adam and Eve, who in turn passed it along to all of us. Both before and after being born again in Christ (Is that you?), we are often wickedly
Redeemed by Thanksgiving
Through Jesus Christ, God the Son entered into our thankless world, lived in flawless appreciation of His Father, and died on the cross on our behalf due (in part) to our chronic and wicked lack of gratitude. It is Jesus -- "God with skin on" -- who manifests the perfect life of thankfulness and thanksgiving. If you've ever tracked the texts where Jesus gives his Father thanks, you'll know it's quite an impressive list. Here are just a few:
Jesus declared, 'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will
they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
'" [Jesus then raises Lazarus from the dead.]
Jesus "took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given
he broke them and gave them to the disciples...
" (added emphasis mine)
He took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, 'Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And he took bread, and when He had
, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood
.'" (added emphasis)
Freed for Thanksgiving
By surrendering in faith to Christ as Lord and Savior, we are redeemed (freed) from the sin of ingratitude (and its just sentence to an eternity "without parole" in hell), and
to enjoy the pleasure of being doubly thankful for God's unmerited favor toward us.
Consider just the following two passages of God's Word through which He encourages and exhorts us to live lives characterized by
giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
Friends, ONLY in Christ Jesus, our ultimate example of thankfullness, are we able to become the kind of persistently thankful people God created us to be (to fulfill our God-ordained CALLING to be a people overflowing with
So how does all this apply to those of us serving in our God-ordained CALLING of
(especially given all that we see that otherwise serves to make us anything but "thankful")? Here are just a three points to ponder in considering living a life of continual thanksgiving.
to serve in one of only two "God-ordained" professions in the Bible (the other being pastoral ministry) -- both genuine callings. Ours is truly "the Greatest Show on Earth."
(2) Through our service, God has allowed us the honor of making a genuine difference in the lives of others (be THANKFUL and don't waste it)! See
(3) It is through our service as cops that God has made it possible for others to have a safe holiday; to make sure (even if by arrest) that a drunk family member is NOT remembered for dying or killing someone else on Thanksgiving; to give an "extra helping" of appropriate grace and mercy (Thanksgiving is often very "warning-oriented" for me); to -- especially if you're single -- take a Thanksgiving shift or a late call so that a fellow officer can be with his/her family; etc. (ask God to show you -- He WILL).
Finally, the second part of the title for this year's Thanksgiving message involves the "
" left for us through the line of duty death of
UCCS PD Officer Garrett Swasey
on November 27, 2015. As I shared in years past, Garrett was not just a fellow cop, but also a committed Christian who shared a message at his home church shortly before he was killed "running to the sound of gunfire" that I'm playing forward here.
Here is small portion of the
that Pastor Garrett left for us in his final sermon at his home church:
We were once enemies of God. To truly grasp this, we need to understand man in his natural state is opposed to God. We like to think they are neutral, but they are not. It's important to understand that God is opposed to man because of sin. So there's this clash going on between God and man because of sin.
Without God we have this mentality we don't want to change. I like my sin! I enjoy my sin! So in the midst of all of that we decide to change God!
People say, "I'm a halfway decent person!" "God's going to let everyone into heaven, because He's so loving and merciful." This lie really diminishes the idea of what sin is, and how it impacts our relationship with God and how opposed He is to it.
We tend to want to do our own "rugged individualism." But in spiritual matters we are utterly dependent on Christ. We cannot stand before God on our own merits!
Our objective is not to bring glory to ourselves but to bring glory to God. How? By transforming our lives through the Gospel. Apart from that it can't be done, not in our own strength.
Everything we have comes from the Lord and everything we have should glorify the Lord. And everything we need is provided by God because Christ is sufficient.
Garrett ended his message with these incredible words:
Douglas MacArthur says, "History of failure can be summed up in two words:
." I think it speaks to the illustration I'm about to give, where the devil and his cohorts are devising plans to get people to reject the gospel. So one of them proposes, "Well, let's go to them and let's say there's no God." And silence prevailed over the group because, every devil knew that most people believe in some kind of Supreme Being. 'There are no atheists in foxholes!' Another said, "Let's tell them there's no hell, no future punishment for the wicked." That was turned down too because men obviously have consciences and know that sin has to be punished somehow. And so this gathering was about to end in failure. And there came this voice at the back of the room. "Lets tell them that there is a God, there is a hell, and that the Bible is the Word of God, but tell them there is plenty of time to decide. Let them neglect the gospel until its too late." And all hell erupted in a glee, because they knew if a man procrastinated on Christ they usually never accept Him.
There is much for us to consider today. What is it? Let us exhort one another to consider Christ, not as we would imagine Him but as He is written about in the Scriptures. And finally, let us not harden our hearts to the Gospel!
AMEN! I am
for having known Garrett and, in the wake of his death, to have had the privilege of ministering to his colleagues and his widow. And now, on this 4th anniversary of Garrett's line of duty death, I'm continuing his
by asking you the same questions he asked in his messages:
(1) If you
a born again believer, are you living your faith "out loud" (all in)? Are you obediently sharing Christ with others in accordance with our
"call for service?" Do others see Christ in you? If not, REPENT and ask God to restore and help you live a life "
worthy of the calling
) -- and He will!
(2) Are you truly
"saved" (a genuine Christian) as God defines it? If you died today, would you go to heaven or to hell? Why? And are you sure of your answer?
If not , it with Garrett in mind that I plead with you --
of the eternal kind -- to scroll down to the
section below and surrender to Him in faith
("tomorrow" may very well be too late).
Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving!
(1) Do you
believe that you can "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven and escape hell because you consider yourself to be a "
" cop or "good" person? That you can be "good" enough without God? That you "deserve" heaven because of your so-called "good" service? Take the
Good Person Test
and see how you do!
(2) Jesus' first recorded words in His earthly ministry were and remain, "
Repent and believe in the Good News
is a "180" -- a complete,
change of mind and heart as it relates to our sin (as God defines it). To "believe" (
in the original Greek) as Jesus intends it here is to wholeheartedly trust and
your life to Him in faith in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop; that a well-maintained weapon will function properly when used in defense against criminals intent on destroying us or others; or that our parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! For more, see
What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
(3) This same concept of "
" (the saving kind) is further revealed in
where Jesus says, "
... you must be born again
." Again, note our Lord's emphasis on the word "
" (not "may" or "should" or even "someday"): this is ultimately the life-saving AND life-changing personal relationship (and NOT "religion") with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see
What does it mean to be a born again Christian
? [hint -- there is no other kind]).
(5) Need more? Then check out this powerful, short video message from police servant-leader
Cops and Salvation
(6) Have you now said "yes" to Jesus as Lord and Savior but are wondering what to do next? The "now what" is also an important part in dealing with the issues that can lead to suicide and sin in general. Click on,
Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
a national, FCPO-affiliated, non-denominational,
Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and profession-focused Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our website and our social media feeds. Our desire is (1) to be used of God to
the lost in our profession to a saving faith in Christ; (2) to
the Christian officer; (3)
out discipled (trained) officers to "repeat" 1 and 2; (4) to
police marriages; (5) to transform our God-ordained profession by infusing it with all-in Christian officers; and (6) to
(reduce) police suicides and PTS with the
found in Christ Jesus alone. In keeping with these 6 points, please feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and
them with others.
Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and
iron sharpens iron
fellowship for Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our Denver-area FCPO chapter (
FCPO Chapter #217
) is a
Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
affiliate. Locally, we meet approximately twice a month in the south Denver-Metro suburb of Highlands Ranch for profession-focused, sound (uncompromising) Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior fellowship (and spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO).
for complete details.
Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
and FCPO-Metro Denver (
) are led by veteran Police Officer, Chaplain and Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams
MC is an active (32-years and counting) sworn police officer/investigator and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches (including the popular
Centurion Church Security Seminar
), retreats and both police and civilian training conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via
for details on how to book him for your event.
Finally, we covet your prayer and financial support for this vital ministry outreach. Reference the latter, you can give in two ways:
(1) Send a check to the address posted below.
(2) Go the the
FCPO giving page
and designate "
" or the "Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry."
* All donations are tax-deductible.
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
, P.O. Box 630854, Littleton, CO 80163 |
| (720) 371-1022 |
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